Eddie Murphy takes over the cult role of Axel Foley in “Beverly Hills Cop 2”. A sequel for which producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer call on Tony Scott again after the success of “Top Gun”. At first reluctant, the director fears living a very complicated experience with the star of the film…
Beverly Hills Cop 2 : Axel Foley vs. the Alphabet Gang
Transitioned from stage to film teaming up with Nick Nolte in 48 hoursthen with Dan Aykroyd in A chair for twoEddie Murphy finds himself alone at the top of the bill with The Beverly Hills Cop. Two years after the release of this first part directed by Martin Brest, Axel Foley made his return to dark rooms in 1987, when he was initially to return to television, which his interpreter had categorically refused.
Investigating undercover in Detroit to dismantle a dark credit card traffic, the policeman goes in emergency to Los Angeles when he learns that the commissioner Bogomil (Ronny Cox) was wounded by bullets. Arrived in California, Foley finds his friends Taggart (John Ashton) and Rosewood (Judge Reinhold).
His partners reveal to him that the enigmatic Alphabet gang, specialized in robberies, would be behind the attempted assassination of Bogomil. The trio set off on the trail of criminals, led by the formidable Karla Fry (Brigitte Nielsen).
Jürgen Prochnow, Dean Stockwell and Paul Reiser complete the cast of this sequel directed by Tony Scott. With Beverly Hills Cop 2the filmmaker signs his third feature film, after The predators and Top Gun.
Tony Scott intimidated by Eddie Murphy
After the success of Top Gun, producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer are once again turning to the director for the return of Axel Foley. Tony Scott, who has just passed his forties, is initially reluctant towards the project, convinced that he is not not made for comedy. Quoted in the book Tony Scott, The Last Samaritan by Aubry Salmon, the filmmaker who died in 2012, says on this subject:
The idea of doing a comedy terrified me. But Don and Jerry kept telling me, ‘It’s okay, you can do it, you can do it’.
Faced with the insistence of Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson, the brother of Ridley Scott finally accepts. Then comes the second fear of the director, which this time concerns Eddie Murphy. Having heard of thehas a complicated reputation as a comedianTony Scott is petrified at the idea of directing it:
I remember being terrified of working with such a big star as Eddie Murphy. At first I couldn’t speak in front of him. I was mute.
Their first exchange turns out to be particularly intimidating:
I went to see him at his house. He was playing pool while listening to Prince on his stereo. Eddie continued to play as I spoke. He must have been wondering if he wanted to spend the next three months with me… His game over, he turned to me and gave me a thumbs-up to signify that he accepted me as director.
A partner actor and director
Despite this unique encounter and despite Tony Scott’s apprehensions, the current is flowing perfectly between Eddie Murphy and him. The actor often rooms the director, visual artist who will never stop developing his staging until the experimental Domino :
I thought he was going to destroy me. He (Eddie Murphy) played with me – he was like, ‘That shot won’t be in the movie. It’s arty shit. He was betting on it. So I kept all the arty shots in the film! And at the end he applauded the style of the movie, but really I just let him do his thing, be who he really is.
Of the three opuses of the saga, Bevely Hills Cop 2 clearly stands out as the one with of the most marked aesthetic choices. The filmmaker also salutes the star’s professionalism and ability to improvise.
By leaving a huge playground to the interpreter of Axel Foley, Tony Scott proves in passing that he knows how to establish a comic rhythm, even if humor is not his favorite register. He returned to it brilliantly in 1992 with the buddy movie The Last Samaritanaided by the scenario of Shane Black as well as the duo formed by Bruce Willis and Damon Wayans.
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Beverly Hills Cop 2: when Eddie Murphy terrified Tony Scott – CinéSéries