This has been rumored to be in the works since Rush Hour 3 in 2007, and with studios currently seemingly infected by a terrible strain of the "remake/sequel/prequel" virus, I'm not at all surprised that it's a go!
Crave Online caught up with producer Arthur Sarkissian at the Television Critics Association press tour over the weekend, and asked him about Rush Hour 4; in response, Sarkissian revealed that a 4th Rush Hour is indeed in "serious development," adding:
“I am working on Rush Hour 4 right now with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan... I’m trying to do it closer to how I did Rush Hour 1, more down to earth, more gritty, introduce two new characters and make it real the way the first one was. I personally was not happy with the third one. I thought 1 and 2 were very good. I think 3 got out of hand a little bit. It’s not a matter of just bringing them back to do another segment of that or a sequel to it by putting them in another city and having them bicker. I don’t want that. I want something new.”
Amen to that! Although obvious guy wonders, if he wants something completely new, why not just put the pair in something fresh that isn't within the Rush Hour universe?
And I do very much agree that the 3rd film was a bloated $140 milllion (budget) wasted opportunity, that really just rehashed what we'd already seen in the first two, with little fresh introduced; it was tedious.
Sarkissian replied, when asked whether the 4th film will intro new, younger characters who Tucker and Chan hand off the franchise to:
“Maybe younger, maybe Chris is now married, maybe Jackie is married to Octavia Spencer, I don’t know. Married to Chris’s cousin, they live in Shanghai, Chris goes out to visit them. I don’t know, I want something energetic.”
Of course he was just rapping; none of this is a certainty for Rush Hour 4. Or is it? When asked about the potential Octavia Spencer thread, Sarkissian said:
"Absolutely. Why not? If it’s good, script is good you’ll get anybody.”
And as for who will write and/or direct the 4th (Brett Ratner helmed the first 3):
“Right now we haven’t decided yet but I’m very close to making a decision. I have about four or five names that we’re roaming on right now.”
My guess would be that Brett Ratner isn't one of them, especially if Sarkissian was disappointed with the direction that Rush Hour 3 took. But maybe not; Sarkissian adds:
“If he [Brett] wants to do it he’s more than welcome to do it but he’s got to do it in the right way.”
And with that, my initial guess stands.
And when further discussing how he'd approach Rush Hour 4, Sarkissian said:
“One of the things that surprised me and actually excited me was how they did Fast Five. They kept the characters, they took them and they put them in a whole different world. They put them in the world of a heist movie and it worked. I think that was brilliant what they did because if you’re not careful, what happens is you just keep repeating yourself. There’s not much you can do. You’ve got to be very careful but that’s where creativity and energy and good thought and a little bit of hard work comes to try and give them something that’s in that world but a little different.”
And even though I'm not exactly thrilled at the idea of a 4th Rush Hour movie, I like where Sarkissian's head is on this. He understands what he's got, but he also doesn't want to make a 4th movie just for the sake of it; he doesn't want to just rehash what's already been done; he seems to want to shake things up a bit, and give fans something familiar but fresh.
Both Tucker and Chan are older, and probably won't want to use their bodies as much this time around. So I won't expect much in the acrobatics department.
Chris Tucker's first big screen appearance since 2007's Rush Hour 3 will come in a supporting role in David O Russell's Silver Linings Playbook, which stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert de Niro. The film opens November 21 in the USA.
Remember when he said, earlier this year, that the reason for his hiatus since 2007 was because he was disappointed with the roles he was being offered? Saying that the parts he was offered were too similar to Rush Hour and “frankly, just weren’t good enough.”