Brett Ratner negotiating to direct 4th 'Cop' film

On the heels of the successful revival of the “Indiana Jones” franchise, Paramount has set in motion a fourth installment of “Beverly Hills Cop.”

Eddie Murphy is attached to reprise his role as Detroit detective Axel Foley, and Brett Ratner is negotiating to direct.

Studio is aiming for a 2009 production start and a summer 2010 release.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura will produce. Jerry Bruckheimer, who produced the original “Beverly Hills Cop” trilogy with late partner Don Simpson, won’t be actively involved in the new film.

Murphy approached the studio about reviving the franchise that cemented his status as a B.O. mega-star. Par brass were eager to land another picture with Murphy after he finished the Karey Kirkpatrick-directed “NowhereLand,” which Paramount releases in June 2009.

That film was also produced by Di Bonaventura, who is working on the summer 2009 releases “G.I. Joe” and “Transformers 2.”

The studio canvassed a number of directors before choosing Ratner. A writer will be hired shortly.

Released in 1984, the original “Beverly Hills Cop” grossed $316 million worldwide and spawned two sequels. All told, the three pics grossed $712.9 million worldwide. The last was released in 1994.

Murphy is currently toplining the Brian Robbins-directed “A Thousand Words” for DreamWorks.

Ratner has been developing the Hugh Hefner biopic “Playboy” for Universal and Imagine.

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