Eddie Murphy makes things happen! In the ten months since he stated that he was trying to produce a television show of the hit Franchise Beverly Hills Cop in which he originally starred, the show has become a reality, finding its home at CBS. I know this wasn't likely a hard sell – we are talking about a well known franchise that grossed over $735 Million dollars. Add to that Murphy, who hasn't been on television since his debut on Saturday Night Live, will appear in a few special episodes in the first season. Yes, I am aware he voiced a character on the animated series The PJ's, but I am talking about in front of the camera.
Murphy, along with Shawn Ryan, will serve as executive producer. Ryan will also be serving as showrunner. The series is being billed as "a buddy cop show… an hourlong crime procedural with strong comedic elements." The series will have a similar fish-out-of-water setup as the film, and will focus on Axel Foley's son, Aaron, a blue collar police officer, trying to make a name for himself, absent of his prominent father's influence, in Beverly Hills.
So who should take over the mantle of The New Beverly Hills Cop?
While names like Jay Pharoah, Damon Wayans Jr., and Donald Glover have been tossed out as possibilities, it's important to note that all of these men are currently committed to other shows. It was announced here on Shadow & Act a few days ago that Glover has inked a deal to produce a show based on his life at NBC.
Given that the show is being produced by Ryan, who gave us shows like, The Shield and The Unit, it may fall more in the category of dramedy.
In an interview with Hipfix TV Ryan said " . . . .We'll be doing a mixture of scripted and improvisational comedy that I don't think (to my knowledge) has been done in the 1-hour drama universe before."
So, they will need a versatile actor in his 20's to step up to the plate. I say 20's because 1994 was the last time we saw Mr. Foley, and he had yet to have any children; plus Murphy is aging quite well and it needs to believable. Given the character description I would also expect the son to be different than the father, to create a bit of dramatic tension . . . maybe a bit more serious.
Here are my 5 selections for the part of Aaron Foley, Axel's son, who will star in the propsed series:
Michael B. Jordan
Jordan is a veteran of film and television. He is best known for his dramatic roles as Wallace on HBO's The Wire and Vince Howard on NBC's Friday Night Lights, he started out his career being hand picked by Bill Cosby to star as Michael; a recurring character on the short lived Cosby series. While most of his most noteworthy work has been in dramas, he also starred in a short lived half hour comedy series called The Assistants and had a sixteen episode run on the NBC dramedy The Parenthood. It's also rumored that he will be part of a new comedy animated series titled Fridgeport. In short he keeps busy . . . if they want him they may have to move fast.
Brandon T. Jackson
Jackson started out as a comedian and still makes appearances at clubs and colleges. After graduating from high school he moved to los angeles and eventually opened for Chris Tucker and Wayne Brady. While best known for his role as Alpa-Chino in the 2008 comedy hit Tropic Thunder he has been in quite a few films; Lottery Ticket, Roll Bounce, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians. Currently no major dramas are on his resume, but somehow I think he can handle it. I would like to see him do it for the outtakes alone.
Since his breakout debut as Moses in Attack the Block we have been waiting to see where he lands (If you haven't seen Attack the Block, please do, it was one of the highlights of 2011 . . . in my opinion). Boyega was attached to star in HBO's boxing drama Da Brick directed by Spike Lee. A pilot episode was filmed but the network decided to pass. In 2012, Boyega landed the plum role of Ugwu in the upcoming Half of A Yellow Sun, co-starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton and Anika Noni Rose. A look at his IMDB page shows that nothing is currently on the horizon. In his short career, he's made quite an impact . . . curious what he might do with an opportunity like this.
Alphonso has been seen in films like Pride, Fat Albert, and Glory Road. But he is best known for his Television work: Comedy Central's Chocolate News, TV One's Love that Girl and Fox's Breaking In. It was announced in April that Breaking-In, where he played Cassius "Cash" Sparks, a resident fanboy and gadget guy among a group of genius criminals working for a securities firm, was not going to be picked up for another season. McAuley's roots in stand-up and sketch comedy coupled with his film and television work could make him a solid choice.
Who? I explored all the options and stumbled upon this young comedian's sarcastic storytelling style comedy videos on youtube. Turns out he was a top ten finalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing. He's performed on: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jamie Kennedy Experiment, Wanda Sykes: Wanda Does It, Comicview, and the list goes on. In addition he has contributed to the animated series The Boondocks. Whether Maronzio or some other young comedian, I wouldn't count the unknown commodity out.
Given the parameters, who would you choose to be the next Beverly Hills Cop?