Before his voice-over roles as Donkey in "Shrek" and all of it's sequels, Eddie Murphy was a regular cast member on "Saturday Night Live" from 1980 to 1984 and also a stand-up comedian. But he began his film career before leaving SNL in 1982's "48 Hrs." which co-starred Nick Nolte. The next year, he starred in "Trading Places" with fellow SNL alumnus Dan Aykroyd. He solidified his place as box office gold the following year's (in 1984) smash "Beverly Hills Cop" in which he was the lead actor. The trailer for that film can be seen on YouTube below, or by visiting http://youtu.be/Sxwjp9IqDhg:
The film also featured some of the most memorable theme music, particularly the instrumental "Axel F" (which stands for Axel Foley, the character played by Eddie Murphy in the "Beverly Hills Cop" film. "Axel F" was performed by Harold Faltermeyer. You may download it at the Google Play music store at http://goo.gl/YNSXb.
At the time, the producers reportedly wanted to turn the "Beverly Hills Cop" into franchise with a weekly television series, but Mr. Murphy declined the TV offer, although he was willing to do a film sequel instead. "Beverly Hills Cop II" opened in 1987 and was also very successful. But he was also busy in a variety of other films, including "Coming To America" which he co-produced as well as various other films.
A decade later, "Beverly Hills Cop III" was released in 1994. That film, while profitable, wasn't quite as successful for Paramount Studios as the preceding films. However, the third film did address some story questions raised in the first two films and, theoretically, opened up a possibility for a television series in spite of Mr. Murphy's lack of willingness. I, like many observers, felt the opportunity for a "Beverly Hills Cop" television series had really passed, particularly with so much time having elapsed since the last film was released.
Apparently, I was wrong. Axel Foley isn't just a footnote in movie history.
In September 2012, Deadline Hollywood reported that CBS has actually committed to a pilot for a series offshoot from the "Beverly Hills Cop" movie franchise. The films' star Eddie Murphy and "The Shield" creator Shawn Ryan will executive produce the Sony TV-produced project, which has received a pilot production commitment.
This week, Humor Mill reported (see http://humormillmag.com/?p=7387) that the show may have found its lead in actor Brandon T. Jackson.
Mr. Jackson is best known for roles in films like "Tropic Thunder", "Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief" and "Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son", would play the son of Eddie Murphy's Axel Foley. Mr. Murphy is also planning to reprise his original role in a guest-star role capacity with the focus of the series being on the son.
I cannot say this is one TV show I am eagerly awaiting, but I'm willing to wait and see. The devil, as they say, is always in the details. But we have news on who will be starring in this show. Details on exactly when this could air (after all, CBS has only committed to a pilot) remains to be seen, but I would guess the fall season of 2013 is the earliest we're likely to see anything.