Eddie Murphy, Beverly Hills Cop

Paramount Pictures

The heat is back on for Axel Foley.

More than a year after signing Eddie Murphy for another go-round as the wisecracking Detroit detective who prefers getting his hands dirty in SoCal, Paramount is now eyeing a summer 2010 release date for the fourth installment in the Beverly Hills Cop franchise.

Variety reports Brett Ratner, who added his frenetic touch to the Rush Hour trilogy and X-Men: The Last Stand, among others, is in talks to direct.

Beverly Hills Cop III may have tanked 14 years ago and been a laugher for all the wrong reasons, but the first two action comedies were blockbuster hits, grossing $234.7 million and $153.6 million, respectively, in the U.S.

The studio is hoping to get cameras rolling on the sequel next year, just as soon as they have a workable script. No writer has yet been assigned the grueling task of making a hopefully R-rated Axel funny again.

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