37+ Fun Facts about the Best Eddie Murphy Movies

Eddie Murphy Movies

Eddie Murphy is one of Hollywood’s most loved comedic actors. From his role as Axel Foley in the Beverly Hills Cop movies to his voice acting work as the Donkey in the Shrek film franchise, Eddie Murphy’s movies have had no shortage of success at the box office. And with leading roles in more than 40 flicks, his films have grossed over $6.5 million at the box office.

So what is Murphy’s secret sauce? How much do fans really know about each of his movies? Let’s take a look at a few of the best Eddie Murphy movies and uncover some fun facts about each of the productions.

Fun Facts about the Eddie Murphy’s Movies

Eddie Murphy’s love of comedy started young. And by the time he was 19, he had his first appearance on Saturday Night Live. It wouldn’t be until 1982 that he would have his debut on the big screen. And just a couple of years later, he would star in the first Beverly Hills Cop movie, which is still to this day one of Murphy’s most famous roles.

Beverly Hills Cop
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

  • Much of the dialogue between Eddie Murphy, John Ashton, and Judge Reinhold was not part of the original script. They were constantly improvising their lines, which caused a lot of laughter from other actors and even the director. This led to many retakes but ultimately made the filming a lot more fun.
  • The famous super-cops monologue was almost entirely ad-libbed by Murphy. He was actually tired while filming at the time. The crew convinced him to take some coffee, which gave him the boost of energy to do the adlib.
  • Murphy’s character Axel Foley wears a shirt from Mumford, which is an actual school attended by one of the filmmakers. After the film’s release, orders for the shirt came pouring into the school from around the world.

Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)

  • Beverly Hills Cop II was Chris Rock’s film debut. He appears briefly as the Playboy Mansion valet on duty as Murphy’s character comes in with a cement truck.
  • After the commercial success of the first film, the studio wanted to start a TV series around it. Murphy did not want to return to TV acting. A compromise was reached, and this sequel was created.
  • This was the first movie ever to be filmed inside the Playboy Mansion.
Coming To America 2
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Coming to America (1988)

  • In many of Eddie Murphy’s movies, he is known for playing multiple characters. Coming to America was the first film in which he did that. He got his inspiration from Peter Sellers in the 1960s.
  • In this film, Murphy’s character Prince Akeem gives money to two homeless men, played by Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche. In the 1983 film Trading Places, these two men played the Duke brothers, who lost their fortune because of Murphy’s character, Billy Ray Valentine.
  • Louie Anderson played the role of McDowell’s employee. It was only recently revealed that he was cast because the studio required the inclusion of a white comedian in the film.

Doctor Dolittle (1988)

  • No one wouldn’t be able to tell from watching Doctor Dolittle, but Eddie Murphy has an intense fear of animals in general. Because of this, many of the animals were digitally added after filming. In scenes where animals had to be physically present, Murphy often screamed in fear.
  • There is a scene in the movie where Murphy’s character watches television. The show on the screen was the original Doctor Dolittle from 1967.
  • Doctor Dolittle was just the first of Eddie Murphy’s films in 1988. He got busy that year, also making Mulan and Holy Man.
Beverly Hills Cop 3
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Beverly Hills Cop III (1994)

  • In this third installment of the Beverly Hills Cop movies, Murphy felt his Axel Foley character had matured. Because of this, he delivered a more serious portrayal, significantly reducing the film’s comedic effect.
  • In the Wonder World scene where Murphy’s character jumps onto the Spider ride, he lands right before a man. That man was George Lucas.
  • Wonder World theme park owner, Uncle Dave Thornton, was played by Alan Young. Young voiced Scrooge McDuck in the 1983 series.

The Nutty Professor (1996)

  • As in many of Eddie Murphy’s movies, he takes on multiple roles in The Nutty Professor. But this time, he takes it to a whole different level. Murphy portrayed an incredible seven roles – Professor Sherman Klump and the other members of the Klump family. He also played antagonist Buddy Love.
  • The popular family scene with the Klumps almost did not make it to the final cut. The producers thought it was not relevant to the plot of the film. But it did make the cut, and the Klumps became a huge driving force of the film.
  • The Nutty Professor was initially released in 1963 and starred Jerry Lewis. He was originally supposed to appear in a cameo in the Eddie Murphy film. He pulled out when he saw the overabundance of fart jokes in the movie.
Eddie Murphy voiced Mushu in Mulan
Photo Credit: Disney

Mulan (1998)

  • The name Mulan literally means wood orchid or magnolia blossom in Chinese. The filmmakers took their cue from this and used magnolias as part of the motif throughout the film.
  • The character of Li Shang was voiced by the American actor BD Wong in the original English version of the film. In the Chinese release, Jackie Chan did the voice work. Chan was also the martial arts model for Li Shang.
  • Mulan launched Christina Aguilera as a singer when she sang the studio version of the song Reflection. In the film, the song was performed by Lea Salonga.

Shrek (2001)

  • The film was completed with the main actors never meeting each other. Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, and Eddie Murphy all recorded their lines individually.
  • The starring role of Shrek was originally given to Chris Farley. He had almost completely finished recording his dialogue at the time of his unexpected death. Mike Myers, who often appeared with Farley on Saturday Night Live, took over the role.
  • The character Shrek has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Eddie Murphy at Movie Premiere for Shrek 2
Photo Credit: Denis Makarenko

Shrek 2 (2004)

  • On the wall above Princess Fiona’s bed, there is a poster of Justin Timberlake. In real life, Cameron Diaz, who plays Princess Fiona, had just started dating Timberlake. The producers say they were not aware of this.
  • Shrek 2 is the highest-grossing of all of Eddie Murphy’s movies to date. It made more than $920 million at the worldwide box office.
  • Antonio Banderas voiced the character of Puss in Boots not only once but three times. In addition to doing the voice work for the original English animation, he also recorded the lines for the Spanish and Latin American releases.

Dreamgirls (2006)

  • The Dreamgirls movie has many similarities with events that happened to The Supremes. It is not a story about the 1960s female group but rather a fiction work.
  • This film won Eddie Murphy his first Golden Globe award for his supporting role. The win came after having been nominated four times before. The first was for New Star of the Year for the buddy cop film 48 Hrs with Nick Nolte. He was then nominated for Best Actor in Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop, and The Nutty Professor.  
  • A total of 783 actresses auditioned for the role of Effie White, including Fantasia Barrino from American Idol and Raven-Symone from Disney. The part went to Jennifer Hudson, who won the Academy Award, the Golden Globe, the BAFTA, and many others in 2006 for her performance.
Eddie Murphy In 2007
Photo Credit:
Featureflash Photo Agency

Shrek the Third (2007)

  • For this third installment, Antonio Banderas provided the voice of Puss in Boots for five film versions. He recorded all the lines for the English, Spanish, Mexican, Italian, and Japanese releases.
  • There is a part in the film where Queen Lillian, played by Dame Julie Andrews, sings “My Favorite Things” and “With a Spoonful of Sugar.” These two songs came from The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. Andrews performed as the star of both films.
  • Donkey, played by Eddie Murphy, and Dragon have five children in the film. Their names are Bananas, Coco, Debbie, Parfait, and Peanut.

Norbit (2007)

  • Eddie Murphy plays Norbit, Norbit’s wife Rasputia, and Mr. Wong. For the latter two roles, he had to spend 2 to 3 hours getting makeup done and wearing a fat suit and dentures.
  • Murphy and his brother Charlie co-wrote the script for Norbit. The last script that the brothers worked on together was for Vampire in Brooklyn in 1995.
  • The character of Kate is supposed to be much thinner than the average girl. This partly highlights the difference between Kate’s and Rasputia’s sizes. Thandiwe Newton had to go on a strict diet while in production to achieve this.
Shrek Cast: Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, Antonio Banderas
Photo Credit: lev radin

Shrek Forever After (2010)

  • A professional jazz flutist, Jeremy Steig performed the Pied Piper’s flute solos. Steig is also the son of William Steig, who wrote the original books on which the movies are based. William Steig died during the production of the third film.
  • Rumpelstiltskin’s voice is performed by the film’s story head, Walt Dohrn. During storyboard meetings, he did all the voices. They couldn’t find any actors who matched the voice he did for Rumpelstiltskin, so he did it himself.
  • Compared to the previous films, the writers made Puss in Boots rather fat and lazy in Shrek Forever After. Initially, the producers disapproved of this change. They kept it when they realized it added to the film’s comedy.

Wondering what the upcoming Eddie Muphy movies are? He’s currently in post-production on the highly anticipated Beverly Hills Cop sequel, Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Filey. Additionally, he’s also filmed the comedy Candy Cane Lane opposite Nick Offerman. The film is expected to release later this year on Amazon Prime.


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