As one of the earliest casting choices for Paramount’s on-again/off-again “Beverly Hills Cop 3,” newcomer Theresa Randle has nabbed the romantic lead opposite Eddie Murphy, sources said Friday.

Neither Randle’s agent, Cynthia Shelton at United Talent Agency, nor Par reps could be reached for comment.

Randle appears opposite Wesley Snipes in “Sugar Hill,” Fox’s urban drama about a drug dealer trying to go straight. The pic is set for an October release.

After two postponements that made the greenlight flicker briefly, “Cop” is now once again on track. The project’s budget had reportedly skyrocketed to $ 60 million, prompting Paramount Pictures chairman Sherry Lansing to call timeout (Daily Variety, Jan. 5).

However, the John Landis-directed “Cop” will start lensing in and around Los Angeles this week and is slated for summer 1994 release. “Patriot Games” team Mace Neufeld and Bob Rehme produce.