There are many great reasons to revisit an old character — the obvious one, of course, being a genuine desire to tell another story (and having a good story to tell). But all the reasons in the world pale in comparison to Eddie Murphy's stated reason for doing "Beverly Hills Cop IV."
"Because the third 'Beverly Hills Cop' was horrible!" the once and future Detective Axel Foley laughed. "I didn't want to leave it like that. The first two were cool and the third one was sh---y. [Let's] get the franchise fixed again, clean up this old mess and do a good movie.
"[Don't] just leave Axel with his thumb up his a-- from the last movie," the comic continued, chuckling. "Whatever happened to Axel Foley? He's sitting in Detroit with his thumb up his a-- since 'Beverly Hills Cop III.' Let's take those thumbs out and make a great movie!"
If that last statement surprises you, it might be because you've recently read reports where Murphy said he's considering retirement and didn't want to do another "Beverly Hills Cop" flick. The actor apparently quashed that talk when MTV News caught up with him last weekend — at least not until he once again gets a chance to play the tail-pipe stuffing, motor-mouthed cop from Detroit. (A rep for Murphy confirmed that information to MTV News on Tuesday (July 1), saying, "Eddie is not retiring. 'Beverly Hills Cop IV' is in development.") The actor called Foley his most iconic character ever.
"When I go overseas they still call me Axel Foley — kids call me Axel Foley," Murphy proudly insisted. "I think that character, it resonated like no other movie, like nothing that I've done before."
Or since, the actor could have added, though he has continued, with few exceptions, in making blockbuster after blockbuster — although films like "Dr. Doolittle," "Shrek" and "The Nutty Professor" contain scant traces of the old Murphy, the actor whose profanity-laced routines made him a hero to millions of impressionable young children.
Will "Beverly Hills Cop IV" be a return to that form? Last month, MTV News spoke with director Brett Ratner, who may or may not have indicated that the fourth installment in the action series would be geared towards a younger audience. Could "BHCIV" be PG-13, we wondered?
Murphy seemed on the verge of quashing that notion in no uncertain terms. Although he hasn't yet read a script — and admitted that the franchise could go in any direction, including one that was toned down — Murphy was adamant that what he wanted most of all was for a "real" Foley. And that means a whole lot of swear words.
And you know who you can thank? Seth Rogen.
"I'll tell you what about profanity," Murphy said. "Over the last 20 years or so, because of the studios, everybody figured out there's a PG-13 audience, you know, and that's the biggest piece of the pie. And a bunch of artists, myself included, got put in this PG-13 box — artists that aren't PG-13 artists! Then comedies like 'Superbad,' 'Knocked-Up,' and 'Juno' come out and people go, 'Oh, this is the brilliant sh--.' And it's just people acting like real people, talking like real people. And those movies are making all the money now.
"Get back to the real sh--," he added, regarding what he most wants for Foley. "That's where I started. [Be] a real person!"
Murphy can next be seen in "Meet Dave," which opens July 11.
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