So it’s official. After more than a year of speculation, a series reboot of Beverly Hills Cop is finally moving forward and has been given a theatrical release date of March 25, 2016. The film will feature original star Eddie Murphy in his leading role and will be directed by Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Red Dragon) from a screenplay by Josh Applebaum and Andre Nemec. A reboot for the Beverly Hills Cop franchise has been planned for several years now, and Paramount will finally release the film with Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean, National Treasure) in the producer’s chair, but there is no word yet on how the plot will play out, especially with Murphy returning to reprise his role of Axel Foley.
Warner Bros. is currently trying to get a new King Arthur project off the ground, and now may have Guy Ritchie behind the camera. The director’s last big screen project was Sherlock Holmes and its sequel, A Game of Shadows, with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. He is currently wrapping up production on The Man From “U.N.C.L.E.” with actors Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) and Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger). The movie follows a CIA agent who teams up with a KGB operative to stop a mysterious organization from mass developing nuclear weapons in the 1960s Cold War era. Ritchie had an Arthur project in the works with Warner Bros. back in 2010, but the project never made it into full production. The studio also decided to drop a remake of Excalibur, a film by director John Boorman which was released in 1981, as well as another project by David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers). The new project with Ritchie may be the first in a series of six films, although there are no reports confirming this information. The last Arthur project that hit Hollywood was King Arthur (2004) with Clive Owen and Keira Knightley which was distributed by Touchstone Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer. The new film is being produced by Akiva Goldsman and Lionel Wigram and will be written by Joby Harold. We’ll look for news of a first draft, if the project does ever make it off the ground.
Jerry Bruckheimer has famously spent the last decade working for Walt Disney Pictures. His breakthrough film with Disney, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, was an instant classic when it was released in 2003, and brought Johnny Depp into a brand new era in his career after appearing in films like Blow and From Hell (both released in 2001), Chocolat (2000) and Sleepy Hollow (1999). Depp had yet to break into the family-friendly movie genre, but all that changed when he agreed to play pirate for director Gore Verbinski on Bruckheimer’s new project. Since then both Depp and Bruckheimer have experienced great success at Disney, but all that changed when they decided to push their limits and make a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean, and then thought it would be a good idea to take Depp’s pirate character and dress him up as Tonto for a remake of The Lone Ranger, which completely bombed at the box office this summer. Since the failure that was The Lone Ranger, Depp has agreed to make a fifth Pirates movie, but Bruckheimer’s employment with the production company has taken a turn for the worse, and the producer will no longer be taking on any future projects with Walt Disney Pictures.
This is not necessarily bad news for the producer, however, as Paramount Pictures has decided to draft a new contract with their old production partner, beginning with sequels to some of Bruckheimer’s most early successes: Top Gun (1986) and Beverly Hills Cop (1984). As of now, Eddie Murphy will be brought back to his original character in what may be a reboot of the series and which will be directed by Brett Ratner, but there are no official reports concerning the plot line. Top Gun is also on its way to a sequel with Tom Cruise, but a director for this film is yet to be determined, especially since original director Tony Scott committed suicide last year. While this is good news for Bruckheimer, fans of these Hollywood gems may be less enthused about further installments, especially with a thirty year gap for both and one of which already has several sequels. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised to hear this. Bruckheimer could try surprising us with some fresh material instead of following the rest of Hollywood in their movie revival scheme, but if his main focus is keeping his job he may have to stay on the bandwagon for now. We’ll keep you posted.
Ok it’s true: The Lone Ranger was a complete failure. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s latest collaboration with actor Johnny Depp has resulted in major concerns from the Disney execs, who are worried that Bruckheimer’s next project, a 5th Pirates of the Caribbean movie, will share the same fate as The Lone Ranger. Let me just make put this out there for sake of clearing the air: IT WILL!!! The Lone Ranger didn’t fail because of bad writing, poor directing or a lack or overuse of visual effects; a modern Western movie with a good plot line and some old fashioned gun-slinging action would have done just fine, and most likely would have appealed to a much broader audience. The Lone Ranger, however, has been re-made time and time again, and for Disney to try to make a modern Western with family-appropriate material and sell it with Johnny Depp’s name is just clinging to old marketing strategies, and frankly is not going to cut it anymore.
We all know Johnny Depp is a phenomenal actor, but characters that only require make-up and outlandish costumes became a thing-of-the-past when they decided to make a 4th Pirates movie. Jerry Bruckheimer could consider working with some other actors too; Depp is not the only guy in Hollywood that can deliver a decent performance, especially for a Disney movie. I mean Nicholas Cage still draws a good crowd and that guy hasn’t been able to act since, ever! What needs to happen is for Bruckheimer and Depp to part ways, Depp to take on more original roles and come back to showcasing his unique talent, and Bruckheimer to find a new adventure project, not linked to family-friendly pirates, cowboys, or indians.
Jerry Bruckheimer and Gore Verbinski must have been in high hopes for their next big Depp-release since Pirates of the Caribbean ten years ago. But unlike the fresh subject matter and imaginative characters that Pirates delivered, The Lone Ranger is recycled material that’s been around since the 50s, and more deserving of a serious action/drama rather than a Disney-for-kids western. Johnny Depp’s Tonto has taken a lot of heat from audiences, and in some aspects, rightfully so. It seems his recent roles, including Tonto and Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows (2012), have all slightly shadowed the lively and eccentric Captain Sparrow that audiences couldn’t get enough of a decade ago. The Lone Ranger pulled in an upsetting $50 million in its first five days of release, falling behind Despicable Me 2, which made an impressive $142 million. Talks of the seventh Star Wars movie will most likely become Disney’s primary focus now. Let’s hope they maintain some quality to the original films and don’t just make a rushed project in hopes for a box office haul.