When Eddie Murphy popped up in the trailer for the new Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee season (dropping July 19 on Netflix), it felt like a sign. A sign of a comeback? Yes. Hollywood Reporter posted a partial transcript of Murphy’s chat with Seinfeld while the two mulled over the possibility of the Coming To America icon returning to stand-up comedy. Murphy appeared receptive and mentioned wanting to work the club scene again, and he even told Seinfeld, “You should buy the Comic Strip, and I’ll come and work out there.” Well, it seems like Murphy is serious about a comeback, and that might include a bonkers deal with the streamer.
TMZ is reporting word from sources close to Murphy that he’s been negotiating with Netflix for a stand-up deal, although it’s not clear how many specials would be part of the package — to the tune of $70 million:
We’re told negotiations are hovering right around $70 MILLION for the deal … though we’ve been unable to firmly confirm the exact figure … $70 mil sounds astronomical — Neil Armstrong astronomical — but it’s actually in line with the top dogs in comedy. Dave Chappelle scored $60 mil for 3 stand-up specials on Netflix back in 2017, and Chris Rock got $40 million for 2 specials the year before.
An Eddie Murphy comeback is great news for everyone, but that’s crazy money, obviously, even for a legend of his stature. That’s especially the case due to The Wrap reporting that Netflix suffered an enormous value loss (at least $17 billion?) on Thursday, which is the day after Netflix admitted to suffering a subscriber loss (which hasn’t happened in eight years until now) over their last quarter. This is likely due to recent price increases, along with Netflix cancelling several beloved series this year and with its loss of the MCU shows and more as the Disney + streaming service heats up. Oh, and Friends will soon be departing for HBO Max, and that news didn’t help matters. No one’s quite sure how Netflix will continue to afford lucrative deals for stand-up comedy, but for now, it sounds like Murphy’s hammering out a deal.