The definitive Eddie Murphy dynamite- plunger quote has been just sent to me. It’s in the latest Entertainment Weekly, and in my judgment it’s almost in the realm of a Nixonian “smoking gun” remark — spoken by DreamWorks honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg, no less. If it gets around, it should finish off widespread Academy support for this wonderfully talented artist and entertainer for good…except among those Academy voters who refuse to be influenced by the facts.

“Following his Oscar-nominated turn in Dreamgirls as r & b singer James ‘Thunder’ Early, one might expect Murphy to take on riskier roles, like, say, playing James Brown in Spike Lee‘s planned biopic. Nope: After his slapstick romance Norbit opens on Feb. 9, Murphy shoots the sci-fi comedy Starship Dave. And he recently announced plans for the fantastical family film Nowhereland, along with a fourth Beverly Hills Cop movie.

“DreamWorks cofounder and good friend Jeffrey Katzenberg says Murphy, 45, has no desire to stretch for stretching’s sake: ‘Some actors are interested in going somewhere they’ve never gone before — if they’re dramatic actors they want to be comedians, if they’re action heroes they want to be Shakespearean actors. That’s just not who Eddie is.”

A friend has shared the following: “Eddie’s role in Dreamgirls is about 75% comedic. The 25% that’s not comedic or impressionistic is mostly him being sullen…which I don’t think comes that unnaturally in real life. I think what people have been responding to isn’t so much a great performance as someone stepping out of his box a little…but now that he’s made it clear he has no desire to step out of that box ever again, people have to go back and actually reevaluate the performance — which is, as you said, just okay.”

Another Beverly Hills Cop flick? I know…Murphy’s a divine God and I’m the jerk, right?