Martin Scorsese Declined Directing ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ Due to Its Similarity to a Clint Eastwood Movie

Martin Scorsese, a legendary filmmaker, was once approached to direct the original ‘Beverly Hills Cop.’ However, he turned down the offer, believing the film’s plot was too similar to Clint Eastwood’s ‘Coogan’s Bluff.’

Despite his admiration for Eastwood, who has been a significant figure in Hollywood and known for his action roles, Scorsese chose not to direct the film. ‘Beverly Hills Cop,’ released in 1984, was a hit action-comedy about Axel Foley’s comedic adventures in a murder investigation.

The movie, which eventually starred Eddie Murphy, was initially considered for several other big names like Al Pacino and Sylvester Stallone. Murphy’s unique humor became a defining feature of the film.

The ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ series, starring Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley, a witty Detroit cop who finds himself solving crimes in Beverly Hills, has been a significant part of American cinema.

The franchise includes ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ (1984), ‘Beverly Hills Cop II’ (1987), ‘Beverly Hills Cop III’ (1994), and an upcoming installment, ‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F’ scheduled for 2024. Murphy’s portrayal of Foley, alongside characters like Detective Billy Rosewood (Judge Reinhold) and Sergeant John Taggart (John Ashton), contributed to the films’ charm and success​​.

The financial success of the series is noteworthy. The first film, released in 1984, had a budget of $13 million and grossed over $316 million worldwide. Its sequel, ‘Beverly Hills Cop II,’ had a higher budget of $27 million and earned nearly $300 million globally.

The third installment, however, saw a dip in its performance, with a budget of $50 million and grossing around $119 million. Overall, the franchise has amassed over $735 million at the box office, making it a substantial commercial success​​.

The series’ blend of action and comedy, combined with Murphy’s standout performances, set a new standard for the action-comedy genre. The films were not only financially successful but also left a lasting impact on popular culture, with Murphy’s character, Axel Foley, becoming iconic.

The catchy “Axel F” theme song by Harold Faltermeyer became synonymous with the series and further cemented its place in cinematic history.

In retrospect, Scorsese’s decision to pass on ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ reflects the unique choices directors make in their careers, and how these choices can significantly impact the landscape of film history.

While Scorsese might have brought a different flavor to ‘Beverly Hills Cop,’ the series thrived under the direction of Martin Brest, Tony Scott, and John Landis, who each contributed to the distinct and memorable identity of the franchise.

The upcoming ‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F’ promises to revive the beloved series, potentially introducing Axel Foley to a new generation and adding another chapter to this enduring cinematic saga.

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