It was described as “fast, furious and funny” upon its release, and Beverly Hills Cop would go on to become one of the most popular action comedies of all time, and it turned Eddie Murphy from a popular stand-up comedian to one of the biggest movie stars on the planet.

It spawned two sequels and influenced scores of action-comedies, but did you know the following facts about Beverly Hills Cop?

10. The first draft of the script had the title Beverly Drive

Producer Don Simpson came up with the idea for Beverly Hills Cop as far back as 1977, at which time he hired screenwriter Danilo Bach to pen a script.

Bach’s original script, which he gave the title Beverly Drive, was an action film starring a police officer from Pittsburgh called Elly Axel.

9. Harrison Ford turned down an offer to play Axel Foley

A number of actors were considered for the role of Detroit cop Axel Foley during the five years it took to develop the film’s script, including the late Richard Pryor, James Caan, Al Pacino, Mickey Rourke and even Harrison Ford, who was offered the role but turned it down.

Taxi Driver and Goodfellas director Martin Scorsese has also revealed that turned down the opportunity to helm the film, saying “I was getting many scripts. Witness, Beverly Hills Cop, there were a lot. But I didn’t want to make those.”

8. Martin Brest made the decision to direct the film on the flip of a coin

Credit: Paramount Pictures, Don Simpson/Jerry Bruckheimer Productions

After he was fired from the film WarGames (which was only the second time he had ever been hired as a director), Martin Brest had resigned himself to never working in Hollywood again – until producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer offered him Beverly Hills Cop. Yet even though he needed the work, Brest declined the job multiple times.

When Simpson and Bruckheimer persisted, Brest decided to flip a coin to decide – and of course, he wound up saying yes. After Beverly Hills Cop, Brest went on to direct the likes of Midnight Run and the Academy Award-winning Scent of a Woman.

7. Sylvester Stallone almost starred, but his script rewrites were too expensive

After the aforementioned leading men turned the film down, Beverly Hills Cop very nearly became a vehicle for Sylvester Stallone. However, Stallone was keen to make a darker, harder-edged cop thriller without any comedy elements, and set about rewriting the script to fit his vision.

Stallone’s take on Beverly Hills Cop was too expensive and too violent for the producers, so the Rocky and Rambo star agreed to exit the project. Two years later, Stallone would take a lot of his ideas into his original cop movie Cobra.

6. Hundreds of takes were ruined by cast and crew laughing at Eddie Murphy’s ad-libs

Eddie Murphy was hired to play Axel Foley only two weeks before production began. Normally a script might be rewritten to fit a new leading man, but in this case Murphy was also allowed to utilise his skills at comedic improvisation. This may have been good for the film, but it made things difficult on set.

Murphy was so funny, his co-stars and the crew struggled to keep from laughing at his ad-libs. Watch closely when Axel defends his colleagues as “super cops,” you can see actor John Ashton pinching his face and looking down as he desperately tries not to laugh.

5. Not much of the film was actually shot in Beverly Hills

Despite the fact that Beverly Hills has its name in the title, not much of the movie was actually filmed in the illustrious city in Los Angeles County. This was because Beverly Hills city officials would not allow any filming on the streets after 10.30pm.

For this reason, a lot of the Beverly Hills scenes were shot in the neighbouring areas of the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, and Pasadena. However, all the Detroit scenes in the early part of the film were indeed shot in Detroit itself.

4. An actor can be seen holding a script in the completed film

Constant rewrites meant that actors were occasionally given their lines just moments before they would be asked to read them out in front of director Martin Brest’s camera.

Stephen Elliott can even be seen holding a rolled-up script in the completed film, but believing that it fit the actor’s police chief character, Breast didn’t see any reason to re-shoot the scene.

3. It was the highest-grossing R-rated film for almost 20 years

Beverly Hills Cop surpassed all expectations by becoming one of the highest-earning films of 1984. In the US, it was the number one movie of the year, taking $234.7 million domestically. Overall it took $316 million worldwide, which made the second biggest film internationally after Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (which made $333.1 million).

This made Beverly Hills Cop the highest-earning R-rated movie ever at the time, and it would hold this record until the release of The Matrix Reloaded in 2003, which broke the record with earnings of $741.8 million worldwide.

2. A 2013 Beverly Hills Cop TV pilot was shot but not picked up

A pilot episode for a Beverly Hills Cop TV show was created in 2013, starring Tropic Thunder actor Brandon T Jackson as Axel Foley’s son.

The pilot was helmed by Men in Black and The Addams Family director Barry Sonnenfeld, but despite positive test screenings it was not picked up by a TV network.

1. A fourth film in the series is heading to Netflix

We had resigned ourselves to 1994’s Beverly Hills Cop III being the final entry in the brilliant buddy cop franchise, so were delighted to find out that a fourth film will soon be heading to Netflix. The belated sequel is taking a leaf out of Top Gun: Maverick’s book with the title Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley.

Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Paul Reiser and Bronson Pinchott are all expected to reprise their roles, and will be joined by series newcomers including Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kevin Bacon. It’s expected to hit the streaming service in time for the original Beverly Hills Cop’s 40th anniversary in 1984.