Sylvester Stallone’s Modified ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ Script Looked Like the “Opening Scene from Saving Private Ryan”

The actor was eventually replaced by Eddie Murphy, who shot to international fame because of the film.

Sylvester Stallone’s Modified ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ Script Looked Like the “Opening Scene from Saving Private Ryan”

SUMMARY

  • Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop is a classic comedy of the ‘80s, which gave the SNL star his big Hollywood breakthrough.
  • Murphy, however, was cast much later and the film was offered to many actors including Sylvester Stallone and Harrison Ford.
  • Stallone reportedly made many changes to the script that turned it into a more traditional and dark action film than the buddy cop comedy it became.
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Sylvester Stallone is known for his action star persona and has delivered great high-octane thrills with franchises such as Rocky, Rambo, and The Expendables. He was at the peak of stardom during the late 80s and 90s and was one of the leading action stars. Hence, it was surprising to know that he was once attached to a comedy film like Beverly Hills Cop.

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The buddy cop film which eventually starred comedian Eddie Murphy is considered to be one of the best comedy films and was the highest-grossing film of 1984. It put Murphy on the map internationally. However, Stallone was attached to the script at one point and he reportedly made so many rewrites that the film became a dark action extravaganza.

Also read: “He walked into the room and I hated him”: Sylvester Stallone Reveals Why He Chose Dolph Lundgren For Rocky 4

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Production Of Eddie Murphy’s Beverly Hills Cop

Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy

The classic 80s comedy Beverly Hills Cop is known for being comedian and actor Eddie Murphy’s big Hollywood breakthrough. While Murphy was known for his stint on Saturday Night Live and had done a few supporting roles in feature films, the buddy cop action film Beverly Hills Cop became his biggest hit at the time and he shot to international fame.

The film was reportedly first conceived by former Disney CEO Michae Eisner in 1977, who wondered about being a cop in Beverly Hills and having to deal with rich Hollywood executives all the time. He then reportedly asked producer Don Simpson to work on the idea of a cop in Beverly Hills, although this theory has been refuted by Simpson.

Also read: Sylvester Stallone is the Perfect Star for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator 7 as a Buddy Comedy

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A still from Beverly Hills Cop
A still from Beverly Hills Cop

The script was in development for a few years after writer Danilo Bach took over the project as a screenwriter. He came up with the story of Alex Foley coming to Hollywood to investigate the death of his best friend. After the script was given a humorous take by writer Daniel Petrie Jr., the film was greenlit with Mickey Rourke attached to star in the film.

After the departure of Rourke, who was only hired on a holding-off contract, the film had different actors such as Sylvester Stallone and Harrison Ford set to star in the film but eventually went to Eddie Murphy, who gave the film its heart. The film became the highest-grossing film of 1984, earning over $316 million at the global box office.

Also read: One Expendables Star Has the Résumé to Replace Sylvester Stallone in Cliffhanger Sequel

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Sylvester Stallone Made Major Changes To The Beverly Hills Cop Script

Sylvester Stallone in Cobra
Sylvester Stallone in Cobra

The film Beverly Hills Cop had countless ways in which it could go as many directors, writers, and actors came into the picture. At one point, Martin Scorsese was approached to direct Beverly Hills Cop, which would have been a completely different film altogether. Director David Cronenberg was also approached to direct the film.

However, one of the biggest misfires that the producers dodged was the changes actor Sylvester Stallone made when he was attached to the script. While rumors were circulating that the film was written for Stallone, it was debunked. However, the actor was attached to the script but he wanted to stray away from the comedic tone of the film.

Instead, Stallone added his writing flourishes, making the film more action-heavy and intense which was more in tune with the image he had as an action star back then. The actor reportedly changed the protagonist’s name to Alex Cobretti, a last name that he would later use in his film Cobra. Stalling mentioned in an interview for the changes he had made,

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“When I read the script for Beverly Hills Cop, I thought they’d sent it to the wrong house. Somehow, me trying to comically terrorize Beverly Hills is not the stuff that great yuk-festivals are made from. So I re-wrote the script to suit what I do best, and by the time I was done, it looked like the opening scene from Saving Private Ryan on the beaches of Normandy.”

Stallone was later sent packing two weeks before filming was to start. The actor would reuse many of the elements of his version of the script in Cobra, which would be less successful than Beverly Hills Cop.

Source: Web Archive

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Written by Nishanth A

Articles Published: 1164

Nishanth A is a Media, English and Psychology graduate from Bangalore. He is an avid DC fanboy and loves the films of Christopher Nolan. He has published over 1,000 articles on FandomWire. When he's not fixating on the entire filmography of a director, he tries to write and direct films.