A couple years ago, word hit that Eddie Murphy wanted to make 'Beverly Hills Cop 4' with the oh-so-beloved Brett Ratner directing. This would-be sequel was supposed to be filmed in 2009 and hit screens this year. Obviously, it didn't happen. No Axel Foley. No iconic laugh.

That might be because of the confusing back and forth that followed the sequel's announcement. There were reports that it would be for kids, that the script was really crappy and even news that the fourth installment would morph a dark, unrelated screenplay where everyone dies into a 'Beverly Hills Cop' movie. Murphy and Ratner weren't exactly instilling confidence with their plan, and in the wake of the much maligned 'BH3,' some fan love is necessary.

Now Ratner still wants to do the project, but not any time soon.

The director told MTV that he was "all over" the sequel, but had to proceed with caution because Murphy "is sensitive about it. He made two great ones. The third one didn't really work. It's an important film for him. It's a character that's iconic." Ratner continued: "It's his Clark Kent. His Darth Vader. His albatross. He wants to go out with a bang." But as much as he's "all over it," Ratner also admitted that this whole thing is very far from reality -- first he needs to direct Murphy in the heist flick 'Tower Heist' -- stating only that the sequel "could" happen. "I'm happy he selected me as the guy to do it, but it's not an easy process and it's not going to be anytime soon."

Any discerning movie fan might wonder why a man so careful about his beloved, career-making series, who only wants to do it if it's just so and just right, would pick Brett Ratner to direct it. Sure, there's his success with 'Rush Hour' and lesser (but still moderate) success with 'Red Dragon,' but this is also the guy that annihilated the magic of the X-Men franchise with 'X-Men: The Last Stand.' He's the director who exists in a comfortable middle ground -- films that rest comfortably in the 6 out of 10's, that raise a good chunk of money but never elicit true fan glee. It's been twelve years since 'Rush Hour,' but it doesn't have the lasting power of the first few 'Beverly Hills Cop' installments.

This is not the sort of man that can assuage sequel fears and make us excited for the return of Axel Foley. If a re-visit is to work, it must have that name that inspires fans to whisper "yes" -- the inspired choice that makes us just as anxious to see how the film will be crafted.

And with that in mind, which director has the talent to bring that same BHC magic to the big screen once again? Or should we hope it stays as is, and never becomes more than a wish-filled rumor?
CATEGORIES Movies, Cinematical