Will Eddie Murphy’s ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ Spinoff Join the List of Best or Worst Movie-to-TV Adaptations? (GALLERY)

Gary Susman / August 30, 2012

'Beverly Hills Cop IV'?
Eddie Murphy's abortive 2008 plans for a sequel.
Remember all the unresolved plot questions and character issues that Axel Foley fans were left with at the end of the last Beverly Hills Cop movie 18 years ago?

Neither do we, but Eddie Murphy believes audiences are hungry for more of his signature character. Much more, as it’s been announced that he is developing a TV series that would pick up the maverick detective’s story. And the networks may agree, since several of them are entertaining Murphy’s pitch this week.

According to Vulture, the Beverly Hills Cop TV series would actually focus primarily on Axel’s grown son. Murphy would appear as Axel in just the pilot and possibly in occasional guest spots.

Sound like a winner? Hard to say; the history of primetime TV is full of hit-or-miss efforts to replicate big-screen success on the small screen.

What makes a successful movie-to-TV adaptation?

Some of the best film-to-TV series are the ones that are least faithful to their source.

NBC’s current drama Parenthood dropped everything from the 1989 Ron Howard comedy feature except the title and the premise of a multi-generational family dealing with everyday obstacles. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a much darker and richer version of the 1992 horror spoof. And M*A*S*H, having turned Robert Altman’s scabrous satire into a workplace comedy that happened to take place in a war zone, lasted 11 seasons and was remains one of the most beloved shows of all time.

So it may actually be a good sign that Murphy plans to take Axel Foley’s story in a new direction. Also a good sign: he’s working with Shawn Ryan, creator of acclaimed, hard-boiled police drama The Shield. Whatever Murphy and Ryan’s cops end up doing, it won’t be by the book.

Click on the gallery at the top of this article and see if you think Beverly Hills Cop will join the list of best film-to-TV transfers, or the worst.

By the way, Beverly Hills Cop isn’t the only long-dormant movie franchise whose TV version made headlines this week. According to the Hollywood Reporter, A&E is developing a Psycho prequel, starring Vera Farmiga as Freudian nightmare mom Norma Bates. (Cue strings: Skree! Skree! Skree! Skree! Skree! Skree!)