Will There Ever Be Another Rush Hour Movie?

The Rush Hour trilogy of films brought us the inspired pairing of Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, so what's the holdup on a new installment?

By Douglas Helm | Updated

rush hour on hbo max

Rush Hour and its two sequels are fun buddy-cop martial arts movies that also happen to make a ton of money at the box office. You would think that money would lead to Hollywood making as many movies in the franchise as possible (like every other profitable franchise), but we haven’t seen a new entry since 2007…so what’s the holdup? Stars Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker have both said they’re on board, so you’d think there would be a lot more momentum than there has been.

The last entry to the film franchise was Rush Hour 3, which was directed by Brett Ratner and starred Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Max von Sydow, Hiroyuki Sanada, Noemie Lenoir, Yvan Attal, and Youki Kudoh. While it didn’t make quite as much as the previous film, it still pulled in an impressive haul of $258 million worldwide. China also opted not to screen the film since the country has a quota of 20 foreign films in theaters and they reportedly wanted to have more variety in the offerings in theaters that year.

Undoubtedly, this was a hit at the box office gross since a Jackie Chan-starring film would have surely done well in China. Then again, Rush Hour 3 was also the worst-reviewed entry to the franchise, with most review outlets and audiences giving it poor reviews. It’s entirely possible that the negative reception is playing a part in getting the creative juices flowing for another sequel.

chris tucker and jackie chan

To figure out if Rush Hour 4 is ever going to happen, we’ll have to backtrack a bit a retrace the announcements the franchise has had since the third movie. In 2009, just a couple of years after the release of the third film, franchise director Brett Ratner said in an interview that stars like Danny DeVito and Jet Li would possibly be joining a fourth movie. Two years later he would walk back his comments a bit by saying the fourth movie would be too expensive to make since they would have to pay him, Chan, and Tucker too much.

To be fair, Ratner’s comments aren’t totally without merit. For Rush Hour 3, Tucker received a $25 million salary, Chan received $15 million, and Ratner received $7.5 million. Chan also got 15% of the total box office gross, so they have to pay the stars a pretty penny to get them on board. Of course, if there’s enough money to be made, this probably wouldn’t be a problem.

The prospect of a fourth Rush Hour film would finally get some solid news in 2012 when series producer Arthur M. Sarkissian said that a fourth film with Tucker and Chan was in the making. He also acknowledge that the third film wasn’t the quality product they were hoping for and mentioned the fourth film would be grittier. He also said that they were choosing between several screenwriters at that point.

In October 2017, Rush Hour 4 got its most optimistic news yet when Jackie Chan said that the script was still being developed and that they could start shooting in 2018 if Tucker was on board as well. Obviously, they didn’t end up filming in 2018. Still, in 2018 Tucker appeared on a podcast to say that everyone still wanted to do the film and that the script was going through some adjustments.

One big question is who would end up directing Rush Hour 4. Brett Ratner has directed all of the previous entries to the franchise, but Warner Bros. severed ties with him after allegations of sexual misconduct. Ratner himself insists that he will be the director of the fourth film, but nothing has been confirmed, and it doesn’t seem likely that Warner Bros will be changing its tune on that front.

Finally, in December 2022 at the Red Sea Film Festival, Jackie Chan officially confirmed that Rush Hour 4 was in development. At the recent premiere of the Ben Affleck and Matt Damon film Air, in which Chris Tucker co-starred in, Tucker also confirmed that the fourth movie is one of his upcoming projects (via MovieWeb). Details on the potential fourth movie are still scant at this time, but with the two stars giving very recent confirmation, it does seem likely that we should be seeing the fourth film sometime in the near future.