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Why the ‘Beverly Hills Cop” director chose to film an actual car falling off a building over using CGI: ‘The stakes are real, and the danger is real.’

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Why the 'Beverly Hills Cop" director chose to film an actual car falling off a building over using CGI: 'The stakes are real, and the danger is real.'

 

Molloy was set on his stance from the beginning, when he took his first meetings with franchise producer Jerry Bruckheimer and got the offer to direct the sequel, which was decades in the making.

 

Why the 'Beverly Hills Cop" director chose to film an actual car falling off a building over using CGI: 'The stakes are real, and the danger is real.'

“I went to Jerry and said, ‘I love this but I want to make an ’80s action comedy, I want to shoot everything in-camera,'” Molloy recalled to Business Insider during a recent chat over Zoom.

Though “Axel F” marks Molloy’s feature directing debut after decades of commercial work and directing TV in his native Australia, the filmmaker knew instantly that the only way a fourth “Beverly Hills Cop” movie would work would be if it stayed true to the texture and attitude of the beloved first two movies, which were box office hits and made Eddie Murphy a superstar in the late 1980s (let’s just forget there was a third movie).

“A lot of films these days, everything is so VFX-heavy that there’s a perfection there,” he said. “I wanted to ground it. The stakes are real, and the danger is real. Like films 1 and 2, those were gritty films.” Bruckheimer loved the idea, which led to Molloy filming Murphy driving a massive snow plow through rows of parked cars in Detroit and a scene in which they actually had a car fall off the side of a building in Los Angeles.

In that scene, Axel Foley’s daughter Jane, played by Taylour Paige (“Zola”), gets a visit from the movie’s bad guys, who end up yanking the car off the side of the parking garage. (Though doing this stunt for real was fun, Molloy pointed out Paige was not in the car when that stunt was filmed. Safety first.)

“It was a perfect location that we found, but it’s literally right next to the I-10, so we had to close part of that down, or people were going to get into crashes if they suddenly saw a car fall off the side of a building,” Molloy said.

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