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Rush Hour 4 Release Date, Cast, And Plot - What We Know So Far

Hard as it might be to believe, more than two decades have passed since Hong Kong action legend Jackie Chan teamed with cinema's quippiest comedian Chris Tucker for the first Rush Hour movie. Perhaps more unexpected than that on-screen pairing was the film's runaway success at the box office, with the modestly budgeted actioner netting more than $244 million in global ticket sales, thus launching one of least likely trilogies ever to dominate the big screen.

Essentially a Beverly Hills Cop-styled buddy cop flick with an international bent, the first Rush Hour movie finds Tucker playing a loud-mouthed L.A. detective opposite Chan's crack Hong Kong inspector. The duo plays up the culture clash for lots of good laughs after they inadvertently find themselves working the same case. Fueled by Chan and Tucker's infectious chemistry — and fit with a bevy of suitably Chan-centric set pieces – Rush Hour proved an absolute blast when it hit theaters in 1998. Ditto for the ensuing sequels, 2001's Rush Hour 2 and 2007's Rush Hour 3.     

To date, those films have pulled in close to $1 billion worldwide at the box office. So even if more than 20 years have passed since Chan and Tucker first traded one-liners on the big screen, it's easy to see why studio bosses might still be eager to get them back together for more quippy shenanigans. While a fourth entry in the franchise has seemed close at hand over the years (both Tucker and Chan teased the possibility as recently as 2019), Rush Hour 4 has yet to materialize.

It still seems more a matter of when than if Lee and Carter reunite on the big screen, but the project remains speculative, so details are scarce. Here's everything we know so far about Rush Hour 4.

When will Rush Hour 4 rush into theaters?

It should be noted however that Rush Hour 4's "unknown" status on IMDb may indicate there's no actual production to speak of just yet. 

Still, Rush Hour 4 seemed headed in the right direction in 2017 when Chan announced he'd given the thumbs-up to the film's screenplay, and was simply waiting on Tucker to do the same (via Digital Spy). After Tucker climbed aboard in early 2018, there were even plans to get the project before cameras later that year.

That obviously never happened. Almost a full year passed before fans got any fresh news about the film, which finally came when Tucker told Winging It podcast, "We're working on a few things on the script right now. Jackie Chan wants to do it, I want to do it, the studio wants to do it, so we're trying to get it together."

Weeks later, Tucker proceeded to set the internet ablaze by seemingly confirming production on Rush Hour 4 was imminent via an Instagram post featuring him and Chan each holding up four fingers. Chan's PR team quickly tempered expectations by announcing he'd actually not yet agreed to appear in the film, so it was apparently back to the drawing board for everyone involved.

So when will fans finally get to see Rush Hour 4? Frankly, your guess is as good as ours. But given the current state of film productions, we'd expect that release to come later rather than sooner.

Will Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker return for Rush Hour 4?

With both the production status and release date for Rush Hour 4 uncertain, it seems series fans might also have to worry about whether the stars of the show will reprise their roles for the presumably in-the-works sequel. As it stands, the last update on the film came from Tucker in late 2019 when the actor told ABC News, "Me and Jackie Chan are talking about doing something new and something different, so we'll see. Hopefully we'll get something going real soon."

That's obviously a fairly loaded statement in that it implies Tucker and Chan might re-team on the big screen for a non-Rush Hour film. The actor continued to muddy the waters surrounding Rush Hour 4 by adding, "We want to do something. We're looking at a lot of different projects. We'll see which one will come together first."

So it seems Chan and Tucker are quite eager to work together again, even though Rush Hour 4 might not be the movie that gets them back together. Needless to say, it's highly unlikely Rush Hour 4 will happen if either Chan or Tucker opt out. In turn, the idea of re-casting the franchise if both decide to pass seems positively absurd — though it's technically already happened with different actors appearing as Carter and Lee in the short-lived 2016 CBS comedy the Rush Hour franchise inspired.

As far as any other Rush Hour 4 casting news is concerned, it's all sort of irrelevant until Carter and Lee are on board. On that note, does anybody know if Justin Hires and Jonathan Patrick Foo are free for a potential franchise reboot? 

What will Rush Hour 4 be about?

While the returns of Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan to the Rush Hour fold are now in doubt, the one person we're confident will not return is franchise helmer Brett Ratner. And despite claims to the opposite, the director has largely fallen off the Hollywood radar since several actors came forward with troubling accusations of grievous sexual misconduct — accusations that Ratner continues to deny (via Digital Spy).

With the director's chair on Rush Hour 4 likely open, it's safe to imagine producers would want a familiar face on the creative team, which means they'd likely want Rush Hour 2 and 3 scribe Jeff Nathanson back in the mix to pen the fourth chapter. As of this writing, it appears neither Nathanson or any other screenwriter in Hollywood are actually working on Rush Hour 4. As such, plot details for the film are quite hard to come by. Still, one might rightfully assume there's at least a loose plot dangling out there as both Tucker and Chan have acknowledged seeing a script in the not-too distant past. So somebody clearly knows what the film will be about. Unfortunately, it's not us. 

As the prior Rush Hour flicks have essentially been standalone stories connected mostly by the presence of Lee and Carter, we can't really look to them to posit theories about the next chapter. That being the case, our prediction is that Lee and Carter will find themselves working a new case together in Rush Hour 4, and probably taking down some major international crime ring in the process. And yes, they'll do so while slinging one-liners at each other and mugging hilariously for the camera.

Quite honestly, as long as it's Chan and Tucker doing the mugging, the rest is just details.