Jerry Bruckheimer has abandoned the loving embrace of Disney in favor of a three-year, first-look deal with Paramount Pictures, The Hollywood Reporter confirms. First up is a new Beverly Hills Cop, with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol writers Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec currently penning a script, and Eddie Murphy in mind to reprise the Axel Foley role. Bruckheimer will also produce a Top Gun sequel, one that would potentially bring back Tom Cruise in a starring role. Both have been mentioned in recent years for sequel treatments. At least they’re not remakes.
Bruckheimer’s split from Disney comes after the underwhelming performance and critical reception of The Lone Ranger. Disney’s Alan Horn notes that the move is more a product of Bruckheimer’s evolving creative impulses than the lousy performance of the Gore Verbinski-directed 2013 flop, which starred Armie Hammer (The Social Network) and Johnny Depp. The longtime producer reportedly wants to pursue more adult-oriented fare. Disney just isn’t inclined to invest heavily in more narrowly focused blockbusters, what with the three-headed beast of Disney Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, and, most recently, Lucasfilm to contend with.
The April 2014 end of Bruckheimer’s almost 20-year partnership with Disney comes after a long string of financially successful movies that includes Armageddon, Con Air, Gone in 60 Seconds, National Treasure and – believe it or not – Pearl Harbor. Prior to that, Bruckheimer worked extensively with Paramount during the 1980s, starting with American Gigolo, and followed by Flashdance, the first two Beverly Hills Cop films, Top Gun, Thief of Hearts, and the Cruise-starring race flick Days of Thunder.
There’s no timetable for when production on Bruck’s first Paramount flicks will kick off, but we can expect to hear more about that when the Disney partnership formally concludes in April 2014.