At this point, everyone is tired of remakes. Sure, they’ve been around for a while, but if you were to ask any self-respecting artist his or her thoughts on the prospect of one of their movies being remade, they’d probably scoff at it. Take Ronny Cox, for example. Two of his films – Total Recall and Robocop – are being remade right now, and he’s none too happy about it. He’s even on record saying he “hate[s] sequels and remakes,” and that remakes are “…like putting on a wet bathing suit.” Why, then, is he campaigning to be a part of a Beverly Hills Cop remake? I sat down with the man I call Bogomil to set the record straight on this tale of mystery, intrigue, and just plain ol’ giving up.
“I’m not a fool,” Cox said. “Usually, my attitude toward remakes is like Vilos Cohaagen’s attitude toward giving people air. ‘Fuck ‘em.’ But I can see how much my rational debate on the matter has stopped Total Recall and Robocop from going forward. It hasn’t. So, I’m just going to embrace the idea of a Beverly Hills Cop remake, and hopefully I can beat someone who would do an even worse job to the punch. I have a great cast in mind, if you’d like to hear about it.”
Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I accepted Cox’s gracious offer. “Here’s the pitch,” Cox said with both hands raised like he was holding a loaf of bread. “It’s basically the same premise, except instead of Foley going to Beverly Hills to solve the murder of his friend, he goes because all the jobs in Detroit have disappeared. Okay, so it’s not the same premise at all, but still.” I then asked who he would have playing the iconic role of Axel Foley, which was played twice (only twice) to great effect by Eddie Murphy. “Only one name came to mind. I wanted someone who the youth of today could instantly identify with. Someone hip. Someone with it. When I saw 21 Jump Street, I knew who my Axel Foley was.”
Meet Channing Tatum, the next Axel Foley
Cox had another surprise in store for us, as he announced another key player in his vision of Beverly Hills Cop. “Billy Rosewood was a pivotal character in the original, and I don’t see any reason to change that. But I also don’t see anyone else playing him besides Judge Reinhold.”
“Honestly, he needs the work,” Cox said in an off-the-record chat about Reinhold.
But what about Det. Sgt. John Taggart? John Ashton epitomized the role of the loveable hard-ass in the original, and I had a hard time thinking of someone who could pull it off yet again. “Oh, it’s a no-brainer,” Cox said, laughing hysterically in my face. “I already have Tatum on board. He needs someone whom he already has chemistry with. This time, we’ll forgo the hard-ass part of the character and concentrate on loveable.”
Meet Jonah Hill, the new John Taggart
Cox was also kind enough to show me a couple of pre-production shots he did with the principal cast members. “This is far from a finished product, obviously, but I think you can get a feel for what we’re going for.”
The first still of Tatum as Axel Foley
The entire crew, together for the first time
“I’m treating this like a political campaign,” Cox said. “It might not be a very good idea, but I’ll be damned if it’s not a lot better than what that other guy has in mind.”
I’m not entirely sold on his potentially bad idea, but I’ll give him that it would be a different take. The worst thing that can happen to a remake is for it to be a note-for-note retelling of the same thing everyone’s already seen. So, on that front, I salute you, Ronny Cox.
Before our time together was over, I asked him if any other projects were coming down the pipeline. “Well,” Cox whispered. “There was this little show I was a part of back in 1990 called Cop Rock. I’m thinking about rebooting that franchise, what with the success of shows like Glee.” If that’s true, I think we’ll all have some quality television to look forward to in the near future.