“Beverly Hills Cop” Star Judge Reinhold Says His Career Was Stalled Because of an 'Executive Murder Plot'

Reinhold said that behind-the-scenes business and a poor release structure for his leading role in the film 'Vice Versa' contributed to the issue

<p>Cindy Ord/Getty </p> Judge Reinhold

Cindy Ord/Getty

Judge Reinhold

Judge Reinhold is able to pinpoint exactly where he believes his film acting career hit a serious road bump.

While speaking with Vanity Fair, the Beverly Hills Cop star, 67, reflected on his attempt at leading a film with the 1988 body-swap comedy Vice Versa alongside Fred Savage, and why he believes it failed to succeed at the box office. (It grossed $13.7 million in North America during its theatrical run.)

Reinhold explained how making "the film itself" was not a setback for him, "but what happened to it" after production wrapped was.

"It was basically an executive murder plot," he said. "David Puttnam, who produced Chariots of Fire, became the head of Columbia Pictures, and we all loved him because he was a creative and he had done indies. The downside with David was he wanted to bring the price of lead actors down, but make the backend profits real. I believed him. I really did. And he wasn’t, unfortunately, around long enough to prove that formula."

<p>John Sciulli/Getty</p> Judge Reinhold

John Sciulli/Getty

Judge Reinhold

Related: Eddie Murphy Joined by 3 of His Daughters and Fiancée Paige Butcher at Premiere of Beverly Hills Cop Sequel

On top of that, Reinhold said the studio decided on an ill-timed release for Vice Versa, that coincided with other body-swap films such as Like Father Like Son in 1987, along with Big and 18 Again! in 1988, all of which dulled Vice Versa's shine at the time.

"What happened was Dudley Moore and Kirk Cameron’s Like Father Like Son," the actor shared. "Tri-Star Pictures threw that movie into production while we were already shooting. And Coca-Cola owned both companies. When I started the film, I knew that that was a risk to be so closely identified with the other ones. I know that it was a premise that had been done before. I didn’t know about the Dudley Moore movie."

Elaborating further on his claims that the situation was an "executive murder plot," Reinhold said, "David went public with his disdain for how high the salaries were and what he wanted to do, and he pissed a lot of people off. By the time we were ready to be released, he was in front of Coca-Cola saying, look, [Vice Versa] is so much better. Just hold on the release of the Dudley Moore movie. He didn’t know, but the guillotine had been set. People didn’t like him, so they wanted him out."

Despite calling Puttnam "a really great guy," he said that the producer's decision to alter actors' pay structure didn't work out as intended.

Related: Eddie Murphy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt Team Up in High-Energy Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F Trailer

"That's why I talk about the film in a disappointing way," Reinhold said. "I'm proud of the film. It was my first time with my name above the title, and the studio just pulled it [from theaters] right before Easter break, when it would've had a chance to perform. It was rough. They kind of buried it, and we watched it all go down. We'd worked really hard."

Despite Vice Versa not performing strongly at the box office, Reinhold established a presence in the television world afterward, securing guest spots on the likes of Arrested Development, Monk, Ellen and other television films.

Reinhold also starred in every Beverly Hills Cop film, the series' 2013 made-for-television movie and reprised his role as Billy Rosewood in Netflix's upcoming Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F film, which will be available to stream July 3.

He also noted how in retrospect decades on from its release, "people have discovered" Vice Versa again, "And they don’t compare it to the other movies that have the same premise. I like that, because that’s what we attempted to do, to bring a whole new freshness to that premise."

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