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Rush Hour 4 Development Details And More

Hard as it might be to believe, more than two decades have passed since Hong Kong action legend Jackie Chan teamed up with quippy 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; the modestly budgeted actioner netted 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 shenanigans. Though a fourth entry in the franchise has seemed close at hand over the years, "Rush Hour 4" has yet to materialize — but that might be about to change. Here's everything we know so far about "Rush Hour 4."

When will Rush Hour 4 be released?

"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. 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 the "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.

Things picked up again in December 2022, when Chan mentioned he was talking to the film's director about the script. A few months later in March 2023, Tucker described "Rush Hour 4" as one of his upcoming projects. So when will fans finally get to see "Rush Hour 4"? Frankly, your guess is as good as ours. But given recent mentions, we think it's coming in the next few years, rather than the next decade.

What is the plot of Rush Hour 4?

So, what would "Rush Hour 4" be about? Any potential plot details are currently quite hard to come by. Still, one might rightfully assume there's at least one loose plot thread dangling, as both Tucker and Chan have acknowledged seeing a script in the not-too distant past. Somebody clearly knows what the film will be about — unfortunately, it's not us. But we still have the power of speculation on our side, and the evidence of three prior movies.

As the "Rush Hour" flicks have essentially been standalone stories connected by the presence of Lee and Carter, we can't really look to them to posit major theories about the next chapter. However, given this trend, we can predict 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.

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

In late 2019, Chris Tucker 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 reunite 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."

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. The idea of recasting 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 "Rush Hour" comedy series the franchise inspired. Luckily, Tucker and Chan's comments in 2023 and 2022 respectively indicate their continued interest in making another "Rush Hour" movie. If "Rush Hour 4" happens, they'll likely be headlining it.

Who is directing Rush Hour 4?

While the returns of Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan to the "Rush Hour" fold have occasionally been in doubt, the one person we're confident will not return is franchise helmer Brett Ratner. The director has largely fallen off the Hollywood radar since several women came forward with troubling accusations of grievous sexual misconduct in 2017.

Due to these events, we feel safe in assuming the director's chair on "Rush Hour 4" is likely open to newcomers. It might even be filled — Chan's December 2022 comments indicate a director exists, whom Chan has discussed the movie with. But who could it be? We're not sure, but we can guess who might work with them. It's safe to assume producers would want familiar faces on the creative team, which means they'd likely want "Rush Hour 2" and "Rush Hour 3" scribe Jeff Nathanson back in the mix to pen the fourth chapter. However, as of this writing, it appears neither Nathanson nor any other screenwriters in Hollywood are actually working on "Rush Hour 4."