It's unlikely that anyone involved with the Eddie Murphy action comedy "Beverly Hills Cop" anticipated that the film would birth an entire series, especially considering the story was originally supposed to be a dark drama starring Sylvester Stallone. However, something magical happened when Murphy stepped into the role of Axel Foley, a rebellious Detroit cop who follows leads all the way to Beverly Hills, California while trying to solve the murder of a childhood friend. The film was a massive success, launching Murphy's career as an international superstar, and sparking two lackluster sequels in 1987 and 1994. A fourth film was planned for release in the mid-to-late '90s, but it never came to be … until now.

Over four decades since Axel Foley wise-cracked his way into our lives, Eddie Murphy is returning for "Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley," which is anticipating a release later this year. The film is said to be bringing back some key franchise players and some welcome additions like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Taylour Paige, and Kevin Bacon, but it wouldn't be a "Beverly Hills Cop" film without Eddie Murphy.

Now in his 60s, Murphy isn't the same man he was when he first played Foley in his 20s. He's older, his body isn't going to bounce back with a rapid recovery or have the "invincible" feeling that most of us only experience in our early years. In fact, performing some of the necessary action scenes was so intense, Murphy claimed he thought this was going to be the last film he ever makes.

'I Thought I Was Going To Die'

In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Eddie Murphy confessed that the action scenes in "Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley" pushed him to his limit. "It was so, so hard." He even joked that he's never making another "Beverly Hills Cop" movie again, because the physical requirements were too exhausting, saying he was "maxed out."

Murphy said the experience was "emotional," because he was revisiting a role he played in his 20s, but with the wear and tear of a man in his 60s. "You'd see my heart beating through my chest. There were many times when I felt like I was going to die on the set." The physical demands of action films are no joke, and it's unrealistic to expect every older Hollywood A-lister to have the same terrifying commitment as say, Tom Cruise. Murphy was wise in setting a boundary regarding his safety because even the necessary stunts were hard to handle. Here's his full statement:

"I know some actors get into doing that type of stunts and stuff. Before I did the movie I said to Jerry [Bruckheimer], 'Listen, I'm 61. Don't ask me to do s*** you wouldn't ask Morgan Freeman to do.' He said, 'Oh, we'll have the dude come in, stunt double.' And I said, 'OK.' But then there was some stuff that you have to do. So I found myself jumping and running and rolling around. And it was a lot."

Fortunately, Murphy seems to have come out the other side of production unscathed. It seems as if he found the perfect middle ground between the questionable sanity of Johnny Knoxville in "Jackass Forever," and the absolute madness of Cruise in "Top Gun: Maverick," but we can't wait to see what Axel Foley has up his sleeve next.

Read this next: The 14 Greatest '80s Romantic Comedies Ranked

The post Eddie Murphy Thought He was 'Going to Die' Shooting Action Scenes for Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley appeared first on /Film.