Sunday, March 22, 2009

Beverly Hills Crap

I just watched the first Beverly Hills Cop movie again and I enjoyed it as much as I did when I was growing up. Eddie Murphy in his peak is really a treat to watch and this film, along with Coming to America, will never fail to entertain me.

Afterwards, I decided to watch the casting special feature on the DVD and learned a few interesting details. Apparently, the lead role of Axel Foley was set to be played by Sylvester Stallone and most of the cast was selected with this in mind. After Stallone pulled out, Eddie Murphy was chosen, leading to some scripting and casting changes just 2 weeks before shooting.

One change was that Axel's best friend gets killed, setting off the chain of events in the film, and not his brother. Apparently, Sylvester and Frank Stallone were set to share a screen, but when Sly left, this changed. I'm a little confused as to why they didn't just recast the brother part instead of removing it, but apparently without the Stallones sharing screentime, somebody thought "what's the point?"

However, it was one other change that I find a bit alarming. Lisa Eilbacher was set to play Axel's love interest, but that relationship was inexplicably changed to a friendship when Eddie Murphy was cast.

In the DVD, all casting director Margery Simkin says, quite matter of factly: "There were a few other things that were looked at a little bit differently. Obviously the girl was a love interest in the Stallone period and she became a friend."

Why was this "looked at a little bit differently?" Why exactly could this woman no longer be Eddie Murphy's character's love interest?

Was a scene of interracial romance, like the one shown above, too much for most audiences in the 80s to handle?


Anonymous Pavani said...

I think they did this for the Pelican Brief with Julia Roberts & Denzel Washington too. In the book his character and hers have a romantic relationship (and no mention either way re: their race, from what I recall). Then when Denzel was cast they basically eliminated that part of the story.

6:58 PM  

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