Following the success of Beverly Hills Cop as a franchise, it’s hard to imagine anyone in the role of Alex Foley other than Eddie Murphy. But it seems that the comedian wasn’t the first choice for the role, as one of the biggest stars at the time, Sylvester Stallone was originally involved with the project.
However considering that not only Stallone was a great actor, but he was also an accomplished writer at the time, who earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original screenplay for Rocky. But it appears that the studios and Stallone didn’t see eye to eye regarding the tone of Beverly Hills Cop, and it eventually led to Stallone’s exit.
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Sylvester Stallone wanted Beverly Hills Cop to be more violent
Following Sylvester Stallone’s success in the 80s through classics involving Rocky and First Blood, the actor was a hot commodity in the industry. Considering his success, Paramount studios wanted Stallone to star in one of their classics at the time. And even before Eddie Murphy was in the picture, Stallone’s manager Ron Meyer received the offer for Stallone to star as Alex Foley in 1984’s Beverly Hills Cop.
Although the Rocky actor initially agreed to the project, the actor wasn’t too keen on the comedy aspect of the movie and wanted to change the script and made it more action-oriented. He said,
“Ron told me, ‘Don’t change it,’ but I took the script and rewrote it as a kind of compromise, where the guy was action-oriented but he also had a wry sense of humor.”
But the studios weren’t relished by the changes that were implemented by Stallone and just before the movie went on to production, his contract was terminated and Eddie Murphy was hired instead.
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Sylvester Stallone’s failed script for Beverly Hills Cop resulted in the creation of Cobra
Despite being sidelined from the franchise, which went on to garner a whopping $712 million throughout its three movies, the Rocky actor doesn’t seem to regret this decision to change the script. Following his exit from Beverly Hills Cop, the actor went on to take his script for the movie and added a few elements of Paula Gosling’s novel Fair Game, and went on to craft the screenplay for 1986’s Cobra.
Although the movie wasn’t beloved among critics, the action-oriented movie did go on to become a decent success for the studios, as it went on to garner around $160 million at the global box office.
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It isn’t the only time when Stallone left a project due to creative differences, as recently the Rambo actor also decided to leave the Rocky franchise, following his distaste for Creed 3’s direction.
Beverly Hills Cop is available to stream at Paramount Plus.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter