Producer Arthur Sarkissian has confirmed that "Rush Hour 4" is currently in development, with original stars Chan and Chris Tucker actively involved - though to put it in the proper perspective, the project appears to be in the very early stages.
“I am working on 'Rush Hour 4' right now with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan,” said Sarkissian, speaking with Crave Online following a TCA panel for his new CBS show "Vegas." “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.”
Though that "something new" hasn't been firmly established yet, Sarkissian spitballed a few potential directions the fourth installment could go in.
“Maybe Chris is now married, maybe Jackie is married to Octavia Spencer, I don’t know," he said, while making sure to note that at this point Spencer has absolutely zero involvement with the project. "Married to Chris’s cousin, they live in Shanghai, Chris goes out to visit them. I don’t know, I want something energetic.”
As for whether "Rush Hour 1-3" director Brett Ratner will take the helm this time around, Sarkissian remained non-commital: “If he wants to do it he’s more than welcome to do it, but he’s got to do it in the right way.”
Of course, they might want to get a finished screenplay first.
“We haven’t decided [on a screenwriter] yet, but I’m very close to making a decision," said Sarkissian. "I have about four or five names that we’re roaming on right now.”
Speaking of going in new directions, the producer highlighted last year's hugely-successful "Fast Five" as an example of a franchise film that successfully trod new narrative ground.
“One of the things that surprised me and actually excited me was how they did 'Fast Five'," he said. "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."
As for Chan's debilitated physical capabilities ("The shoulder, the ankle, it really hurts. You don't know because I still look healthy," the 58-year-old actor recently told AP), Sarkissian noted the plot would be tailored to fit his needs as a "man of a certain age."
“He’s getting a little older," the producer conceded. "[But] I think he can fit it. What was great about 'Rush Hour 1' and '2' mostly was the relationship of these two, and it came out of nowhere. It was just very real. We didn’t build it, we didn’t write it. It just happened. I think the action will be there but it has to be molded to fit him today and not forced into stuff that he won’t do.”
What do you think of the possibility of a "Rush Hour 4"? Worth developing, or better left alone? Sound off in the comments!