Eddie Murphy is looking to revive the "Beverly Hills Cop" movie franchise with a new television series. New York magazine's Vulture blog reported on Wednesday that the actor -- along with "The Shield" creator Shawn Ryan and Sony Pictures Television (NYSE: SNE) -- has begun shopping the action-comedy series around to the broadcast networks this week.
Murphy, who will executive produce the series along with Ryan, will reprise his role as Foley, appearing in the pilot and a few episodes. The 51-year-old actor hinted to the project in a November interview with Rolling Stone, in which he told the magazine there would be no fourth film but that he had other plans.
"What I'm trying to do with Beverly Hills Cop now is produce a TV show starring Axel Foley's son, and Axel is the chief of police now in Detroit," he told the magazine. "I'd do the pilot, show up here and there. None of the movie scripts were right; it was trying to force this premise. If you have to force something, you shouldn't be doing it."
The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday confirmed that the series is being peddled around Hollywood this week, but it is unclear how closely the current project resembles Murphy's description from last fall.
The original "Beverly Hills Cop" was released in 1984 and starred Murphy as a wise-cracking Detroit police officer who heads to California to solve his friend's murder. It was the top-grossing movie of the year and launched two sequels, the first of which -- 1987's "Beverly Hills Cop II" -- was directed by the late Tony Scott, who jumped to his death from a Los Angeles-are bridge on Aug. 19 in an apparent suicide. The film was Scott's follow-up to his breakthrough hit, "Top Gun," which put him on the map as one of the signature action directors of the 1980s. Scott brought a greater action sensibility to the "Beverly Hills Cop" franchise, which relied more heavily on comedy for the original.
The last film in the series, "Beverly Hills Cop III," was released in 1994 to a slew of critical pans. John Landis, who directed the film, won a Razzie for worst director. Despite the cold reception, Murphy had been toying with a fourth film since the mid-1990s.
For Murphy, the series is a chance to revive a career that could not go much lower. The actor's latest movie, the critically disastrous "A Thousand Words," made history on the critic aggregator Rotten Tomatoes in March when it became the first wide-release film of the year to earn a Zero score.
So far there is no word on whether any of Murphy's costars from the films will appear in the new TV series, but a single cameo from Bronson Pinchot as Serge might make the whole thing worth it.