Pop Culture

Eddie Murphy to star in ‘Beverly Hills Cop 4’

If Indiana Jones can make a successful comeback after almost 20 years, why not the Beverly Hills Cop?

Paramount Pictures has given the go-ahead for a fourth installment of its “Beverly Hills Cop” franchise, with Eddie Murphy on board to return to the role that launched his movie career, the studio said on Thursday.

Brett Ratner, the filmmaker behind the similarly themed ”Rush Hour” movies starring Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, is in negotiations to direct the latest “Beverly Hills Cop” adventure, a Paramount spokesman said.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura (”Transformers”) will produce.

The film is expected to begin filming next year for a summer 2010 release.

According to Daily Variety, it was Murphy, 47, who approached the Viacom Inc-owned studio about reviving the film series in which he plays a Detroit police detective, Axel Foley, who ends up chasing crooks in Beverly Hills, California.

The original 1984 film and its two sequels, the last of which opened in 1994, collectively grossed more than $735 million in theaters worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. The first movie alone took in over $316 million globally. The film spawned two sequels in 1987 and 1994, respectively.

The decision to make “Beverly Hills Cop IV” follows Paramount’s success with the revival of its “Indiana Jones” franchise after 19 years. The fourth film in that series, “The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” opened last Thursday and grossed nearly $152 million in its first five days in domestic release.

Murphy’s last two films, the live-action comedy “Norbit” and the animated storybook satire “Shrek the Third,” in which he supplied the voice of a talking donkey, grossed $159 million and $799 million worldwide, respectively, according to Box Office Mojo.

Murphy will next be seen in the comedy “Meet Dave,” slated for a July 2008 opening. He recently wrapped shooting on the comedy “NowhereLand,” alongside Thomas Haden Church.'

Reuters and Access Hollywood contributed to this report.

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