Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F’s Script Opened With A Bigger Action Sequence That Sounds Really Cool, But The Writer Tells Us Why They Nixed It

 Eddie Murphy wears sunglasses and smiles while talking through a car window in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.
Credit: Netflix

July’s lineup of 2024 movies seems to be heating up one whatever the audience’s screen of choice happens to be. In the case of Netflix’s new legacy-quel Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F, Eddie Murphy returns after 30 years absent from his legendary action-comedy detective in an adventure that feels like a perfect bookend to the original Beverly Hills Cop.

That’s partially because screenwriter Will Beall approached his turn at bat in the franchise with that sort of mindset on the page. Even he found himself dreaming up an opening action sequence that sounded cool, but was ultimately nixed by Axel F director Mark Malloy. After learning why this happened, I can’t say that I blame Mr. Malloy for his decision, and even Will Beall himself agreed with reigning it into what we can currently see on Netflix.

Eddie Murphy hurriedly holds his badge up for a driver to see in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.
Eddie Murphy hurriedly holds his badge up for a driver to see in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F’s Much Bigger Opening

As I had the opportunity to sit down with Beall, on behalf of his work on both Beverly HIlls Cop 4 and Bad Boys: Ride or Die, there was plenty of action talk flying around in the room. But the alteration of the big opening chase on the streets of Detroit was inspired by a question I had about another very important subject: the needle drops for original trilogy songs like “Shakedown” and “The Neutron Dance” that found their way into the mix.

Surprisingly enough, that subject made for a pretty easy door into how this opening sequence changed from page to screen. With that in mind, here’s what Will Beall told CinemaBlend about his suggestions for the soundtrack, and the action it accompanied:

I did have places where I suggested needle drops. I was like, 'Look, if it were me, I may...' That sequence, in that movie, works because of Mark Malloy, because of the director. Because Mark approached this movie in a very specific way. You know, I had a thing, an opening. There were snowmobiles and they took the snowplow out onto like the river in Detroit was frozen over. And the chase goes out there, and then it cracks, and people are falling. It was all, it was over the top more like a Bad Boys kind of thing.

I have to admit, that does sound like a pretty killer opening for Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F. This chase scene happens pretty early in the movie, as we reunite with Eddie Murphy’s Axel while he’s on a case he shouldn’t be working. An ambitious theft during a Detroit Red Wings game is all it takes to bring us back to Detective Axel Foley’s trademark propensity for wit and property damage.

Looking back at Will Beall’s commentary on Bad Boys 4s climactic gator-filled ending, I can see why he’d want to up the action on the page. Considering how much Beall loved Beverly Hills Cop III as a kid, as well as his fandom of the James Bond movies, that’s a recipe for some pretty large aspirations. However, as he revealed Axel F. director Mark Malloy’s concerns with this initial concept, I can definitely see why this wouldn’t have fit the movie at hand.

John Ashton and Judge Reinhold talk in the front of the patrol car while Eddie Murphy sits chatting in the backseat in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.
John Ashton and Judge Reinhold talk in the front of the patrol car while Eddie Murphy sits chatting in the backseat in Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.

Why Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F Director Mark Malloy Nixed The Frozen Detroit River Chase

While there aren’t any spoilers for Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F present in this discussion, viewers that have enjoyed this picture through the use of a Netflix subscription can tell you the vision Will Beall described is significantly different from his original. Axel Foley’s return to action is still pretty pulse pounding, with composer Lorne Balfe’s score leading directly into the needle drop on Bob Seger’s “Shakedown” from the Beverly Hills Cop II soundtrack.

It is a huge welcome back to those who have been waiting through decades of development hell, which included a failed Beverly HIlls Cop TV pilot that almost saw Eddie Murphy bringing the role back in 2013. Continuing his discussion with CinemaBlend, screenwriter Will Beall gave me the following insight into Mark Malloy’s process for making the movie:

Mark was like, ‘Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. I don't want [it],’ because he was like, ‘This is all gonna be CG stuff. I don't want that. I want to be able to do everything in camera.’ And he did, and you can feel it, and it works because it's a movie that could have come out 40 years ago. … I think this is his first movie. Mark's a guy people will still be talking about in 10 years. I guarantee it.

Listening to Will give Mark that sort of praise has me believing that sort of hype, for sure. As you’ll read in our own Eric Eisenberg’s Beverly HIlls Cop: Axel F review, the finished result is certainly a treat for those who were worried about another potential legacy-quel blowing its chance at glory. And now you have the chance to see that work for yourself, as this new movie is currency streaming for those of you who use the Netflix platform.

But while you’re at it, be sure to also check out our Beverly HIlls Cop: Axel F interviews! There are plenty more stories from Eddie Murphy and his co-stars that celebrate Detective Foley’s resurgence, and isn’t a successful legacy-quel worth celebrating?