Netflix is going to stay in the Eddie Murphy business. After releasing the delightful Dolemite Is My Name several weeks ago, Netflix will now release Beverly Hills Cop 4. According to Variety, Paramount will license the rights to the streamer, but Jerry Bruckheimer will stay on board to produce. The move comes as various long-awaited sequels like Terminator: Dark Fate and Men in Black: International have flopped at the box office. The first two Beverly Hills Cop movies were hits, but the third film, Beverly Hills Cop III, which was released in 1994, underperformed at the box office.
In an age where IP is king, it may seem odd that Paramount would license away a known property like Beverly Hills Cop, especially when they’ve dumped so much money into developing Beverly Hills Cop 4 over the years. But that would be following the sunk cost fallacy, and Paramount is wise to let this one go to Netflix. The fact of the matter remains that while Eddie Murphy is very good in Dolemite Is My Name, he hasn’t had a mainstream hit in well over a decade. Yes, his fortunes could turn with Coming 2 America, which opens next December, but that’s a major gamble and even then you have an entire generation that probably has no attachment to Beverly Hills Cop or Murphy.
There are no details on what Beverly Hills Cop 4 will entail. When we reported on the film back in 2016, Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (Black) were attached to direct, but that’s about it. We don’t know if this will be a legacyquel where Murphy hands off the franchise to a new character or if his Axel Foley will still be in the lead. However it shakes out, the wise-cracking cop will now be streaming on Netflix, which is probably the best place for the franchise to be if it’s to continue.