The ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ franchise nearly drove ‘Speed’ away from audiences.
According to former Paramount Vice President of Production Don Granger, Eddie Murphy’s action-comedy vehicle was briefly on the verge of taking over the script for “Speed” before Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock took on the leads.
During Kris Tapley latest episode of the “50 MPH” podcast.which offers a comprehensive oral history of ‘Speed’, Granger revealed that stalled negotiations for ‘Speed’ led him to pitch the script as the ‘Beverly Hills Cop III’ script.
“I really wanted to try and edit the film, and my last ditch effort was… I pitched it at our president’s luncheon as a possible script for ‘Beverly Hills Cop III,’” said Granger. “I had about 15 minutes of traction before he was fired, because that’s when the mandate was to find a ‘Beverly Hill Cop III.’ So I thought, ‘Let’s put Axel Foley on the bus.’ He was a Hail Mary, man.
Granger continued, “I could argue it was a better movie, it would have been a better movie than what we finally got for ‘Beverly Hills Cop III,’ but that was my last Hail Mary.”
“Speed”, of course, became a 1994 20th Century Fox blockbuster directed by Jan de Bont. The film spurred the 1997 sequel “Speed 2: Cruise Control,” which Bullock admitted last year she was “still embarrassed about.” “I’ve been very vocal about it. It does not make sense. Slow boat. Slowly going to an island,” Bullock said. “That’s what I wished I hadn’t done and no fans have come around that I know of.”
“Speed” star Reeves famously turned down the sequel, despite the original film’s box office success and Academy Award wins for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing. Reeves later revealed that he was placed in “film jail” by 20th Century Fox for walking out of the film. Instead, Jason Patric starred opposite Bullock as her new love interest.
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