Rush Hour (franchise)
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|Directed by||Brett Ratner|
Arthur M. Sarkissian
Jim Kouf and Ross LaManna (1)|
Jeff Nathanson (2–3)
Ross LaManna (1)|
Jeff Nathanson (2–3)
by Ross LaManna
Robert K. Lambert
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Box office||$850.6 million|
The Rush Hour franchise is a series of American action comedy films created by Ross LaManna and directed by Brett Ratner. All three films center on a pair of police detectives: Hong Kong Police Force Chief Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) and LAPD Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker), both of whom go on a series of misadventures often involving corrupt crime figures in Hong Kong and Los Angeles. The films were released theatrically between 1998 and 2007, attaining commercial success, and incorporate elements of martial arts, humor, and the buddy cop subgenre.
Production for Rush Hour
Rush Hour was released on September 18, 1998 grossing $244,386,864 worldwide. Martin Lawrence and Dave Chappelle were originally considered for the role of James Carter; Eddie Murphy turned down the role and signed on to Holy Man instead. Chris Tucker was finally chosen for the part. Director Brett Ratner, a big fan of Jackie Chan's Hong Kong movies, felt that American audiences would not be familiar with the jokes in Jackie's other movies, and deliberately re-used some of his gags. For example, the scene where Inspector Lee accidentally grabs Detective Johnson's (Elizabeth Peña) breasts is a reference to Jackie Chan's film Mr. Nice Guy (1997). Rush Hour began as a spec script written in 1995 by screenwriter/novelist Ross LaManna. The screenplay was sold by LaManna's William Morris agent Alan Gasmer to Hollywood Pictures, a division of the Walt Disney Company, with Arthur Sarkissian attached as producer. After attaching director Ratner and developing the project for more than a year with producers including Sarkissian and Roger Birnbaum, Disney Studios Chief Joe Roth put the project into turnaround, citing concerns about the $34-million budget, and Chan's appeal to American audiences at the time. Several studios were interested in acquiring the project. New Line Cinema was confident in Ratner's talents, having done Money Talks with him, so they made a hard commitment to a budget and start date for Rush Hour.
Production for Rush Hour 2
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Rush Hour 2 was released on August 3, 2001. The film grossed $347,325,802 worldwide, making it the most successful film in the Rush Hour series. In an interview, director Brett Ratner admitted that the first part of the karaoke scene with Chris Tucker was not supposed to be filmed. Tucker refused to act like Michael Jackson with the cameras running. During takes, he went up as entertainment for everyone. Secretly, Ratner told the cameramen to film it but to not let Tucker notice them. On an episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Tucker said that while he was filming this movie in Hong Kong, many locals mistook him for NBA star Kobe Bryant. In the film, while Tucker's character is running up the stairs, the old woman shouts, "Move out of the way, Kobe" to him. However, in the DVD audio commentary, Ratner states that main writer Jeff Nathanson came up with that line shortly before the filming of that scene. The mural on the wall of the Heaven on Earth Massage Parlor was copied from one in Scarface, which Harris Yulin and Ratner appeared in. The scene where Jackie Chan and Tucker are running down the street naked in Hong Kong was an actual take; production could not block the street off for the shoot. The scene where Chan and Tucker run in the streets was inspired by a scene in The Accidental Spy (2001) which Chan made before this movie. Ratner saw the film and decided to include a similar scene in Rush Hour 2 (2001).
The girl-picking scene came from the Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon (1973), which Chan appeared in. During the boat party that Ricky Tan holds, the song "Tian Mi Mi" can be heard playing in the background. The same song was used in Year of the Dragon (1985), a film which also co-starred John Lone. Seasickness helped Roselyn Sanchez feign a lack of enthusiasm for Tucker's advances in the yacht sequence. When Tucker is saying that Asians always panic and points out Godzilla films as a reference, he shouts "Hayaku! Hayaku!" This is Japanese, and it means "Quickly! Quickly!" The scene where Carter gets the kosher meal was originally scripted to have Carter ask if Lee "want some of my gefilte fish?" after the stewardess left. But Tucker could not pronounce "gefilte", so the scene never made the final cut (outtakes of this scene are in the end credits). Don Cheadle only agreed to appear in this movie under two circumstances: he gets to speak Chinese and pick a fight with Chan. In the scene where Chan and Tucker went inside the business suite, Ernie Reyes, Jr. appeared in a cameo as the worker who was chased by Chan and Tucker.
Jeremy Piven made a cameo appearance in Rush Hour 2 as an over-enthusiastic gay Versace salesman. Like Cheadle, he was from The Family Man (2000), a movie that was also directed by Ratner. The Red Dragon Casino in Las Vegas owned by Ricky Tan (John Lone) and Steven Reign (Alan King) was actually the Desert Inn hotel and casino. There were red lights shined at the hotel to make it a scarlet color. Following the closure of the 50-year-old Las Vegas Strip property in August 2000 by new owner Steve Wynn, the Rush Hour 2 production moved in and redesigned parts of the property as a Chinese themed casino/hotel for the movie. Shortly after the movie wrapped production in Las Vegas, the Desert Inn was demolished on October 23, 2001 to make way for the new $2.7 billion Wynn Las Vegas resort. Red Dragon is also the name of a movie that Ratner directed months after Rush Hour 2, as well as the name of a real casino in Mountlake Terrace, Washington, USA. The fake cash used in the movie said "In Dog We Trust". Even so, some of it "escaped" from the set and eventually ended up in a few casinos in Las Vegas. Chan's favorite number is 32. The gangster's car has a license plate of 32 and when Lee spits the grenade onto the roulette table it lands on 32 when it explodes.
Tucker ad-libbed many different versions of his short speech to Hu Li at the end of their fight. Ratner felt the speech was not working and told Tucker to call her a "bitch". Tucker refused to say the word and it took hours of convincing by Ratner before Tucker finally agreed. During the filming of the stunt where Lee and Carter jump from the top window of the Red Dragon hotel then slide down the wires of Chinese Lanterns, a real (i.e. not part of the movie) car chase took place on/through the set. Apparently, a carload of drunken tourists (the set was in Las Vegas) got into an altercation with a taxi driver, and the two cars began a chase that ran down the strip and onto the set, narrowly missing crew members, extras and an enormous crane which held a camera and crew. Fortunately no one was injured; the driver and passengers of the taxi were detained by police. On the DVD release of the film, a deleted scene featured Philip Baker Hall reprising his role of Captain Diel from the first film. Carter speaks with the Captain about his stay in Hong Kong and his involvement in the Triad case. Ratner states in the DVD audio commentary that while he would have loved to include the scene in the final cut (essentially giving Hall a cameo appearance), it did not advance the plot and was left out.
Zhang Ziyi only speaks three words of English in the film, two of which being her famous line "Some apple?" (however, she is seen mouthing "Here's your package. You're welcome." while Lee and Carter are spying on Molina through the windows from the neighboring tower) as she did not know the language at the time of filming. Chan served as her translator on the set. Zhang Ziyi's character name, "Hu Li", means "fox." Her character was originally written for a man. The first two films in the Rush Hour series begin in Hong Kong and end in a United States airport (Los Angeles in the first film, Vegas in the second film). The time gap between Rush Hour 2 and Rush Hour is four days, according to the movie.
Production for Rush Hour 3
Rush Hour 3 was officially announced on May 7, 2006, and filming began on July 4, 2006. The film, set in Paris and Los Angeles, was first released on August 10, 2007, and grossed $258,022,233 worldwide. Academy Award-winning film director Roman Polanski co-stars as a French police official involved in Lee and Carter (Chan and Tucker's characters) case. Tzi Ma reprises his role as Ambassador Han, Lee's boss and friend who appeared in the first installment. This film has received a M rating by the Office of Film and Literature Classification (Australia) and a PG-13 rating by the MPAA for "sequences of action violence, sexual content, and language". Additionally, the film was not screened in Chinese theaters in 2007 to make way for a larger variety of foreign films, according to a business representative. (The quota for imported films is 20 each year.)
Future for Rush Hour 4
Because of the films' collective box-office success, director Brett Ratner and writer Jeff Nathanson are considering the production of a fourth installment. In the DVD audio commentary for Rush Hour 3, Brett Ratner joked that the fourth Rush Hour film could be released in 2012. Ratner and Nathanson are exploring many concepts, including the use of the motion capture technique for the possible sequel and various different film projects with Chan and Tucker. It has been reported that the fourth film may be set in Moscow.
In July 2009, in an interview, Ratner stated that he "has been in contact with a long list of stars including Danny DeVito and Jet Li for possible roles in a potential Rush Hour 4", but stressed "nothing's been okayed yet". In a short interview with Vulture in 2011, Ratner stated that the cost of making a follow-up to X-Men: The Last Stand would have cost more than X-Men: First Class and "that's why another Rush Hour 4 probably won't get made, either: It'd be too much to pay me, Chris [Tucker], and Jackie [Chan] to come back."
In August 2011, in an interview with The Breakfast Club, Tucker stated in response to the question of a fourth by saying, "Rush Hour 4? Maybe you know, because that's a different kind of movie. You got the action and the stuff like that, and they pay 20 million dollars too... I'm just joking! No, you know Jackie Chan, you know I love working with him and those type of movies you can redo them and it's different, we'll see but I don't know though. But we've got some new stuff coming, so we'll see what happens."
In July 2012, series producer Arthur M. Sarkissian stated that a fourth film was being worked on with Chan and Tucker, and stated that he would welcome Brett Ratner back as director if he would "do it in the right way." Sarkissian expressed some dissatisfaction with the third film, and admitted he wants the potential fourth film to be grittier, and have new ideas. Sarkissian is reportedly working on choosing which out of "four or five" screenwriters he has been talking to, should work on the script.
In August 2014, Chan stated that the studio still wants to make Rush Hour 4, but that he will only participate if he can see a quality script first, stating "I don’t want to do a rubbish script just because they want to make the movie".
In June 2015, Chan met with Tucker for dinner to discuss Rush Hour 4.
In November 2016, while promoting Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, Tucker reaffirmed his optimism for a potential fourth film, stating “Yeah, we’re talking about it now doing another one, and we’re trying to get it going. I think we might be able to get one going. I love working with Jackie and I think we could do a really fun one.”
In October 2017, Chan said that the script for Rush Hour 4 has been in the works and shooting for the film will most likely start in 2018 if Tucker agrees to be in the film. Chan is optimistic about Tucker accepting due to his previous claims of being on board for the fourth film. 
In February 2018, Tucker confirmed the production of Rush Hour 4. He stated on ESPN's podcast, The Plug, "It's happening. This is gonna be the rush of all rushes. Jackie is ready and we want to do this so that people don't ever forget it." In the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against Ratner by several actresses, Warner Bros. sources presumed that it's highly unlikely that Ratner will be directing Rush Hour 4.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the films' original director Brett Ratner signed on as the show's executive producer, along with Rush Hour producer Arthur M. Sarkissian, Jeff Ingold & Jon Turteltaub who also directed the pilot and Bill Lawrence penned the series alongside Blake McCormick. James Lew, who worked on the stunts for all 3 films, was a stunt coordinator for the series. It was announced that Jon Foo and Justin Hires would star as Detectives Lee and Carter for the CBS series, along with Aimee Garcia and Jessika Van in regular roles. It was announced that the network picked up the series.
The television series was cancelled after only one season.
|Rush Hour||Rush Hour 2||Rush Hour 3||Rush Hour|
|Chief Inspector Lee||Jackie Chan||Jon Foo|
|Detective James Carter||Chris Tucker||Justin Hires|
|Consul / Ambassador Solon Han||Tzi Ma||Tzi Ma|
|Soo Yung Han||Julia Hsu||Zhang Jingchu|
|Thomas Griffin / Juntao||Tom Wilkinson|
|Detective Tania Johnson||Elizabeth Peña|
|FBI Agent Warren Russ||Mark Rolston|
|FBI Agent Dan Whitney||Rex Linn|
|Captain William Diel||Philip Baker Hall||Philip Baker Hall
|Philip Baker Hall
|Ricky Tan||John Lone|
|Isabella Molina||Roselyn Sánchez||Roselyn Sánchez
|Hu Li||Zhang Ziyi|
|Steven Reign||Alan King|
The Dragon Lady
|Varden Reynard||Max von Sydow|
|Sergeant Didi Diaz||Aimee Garcia|
|Captain Lindsay Cole||Wendie Malick|
|Kim Lee||Jessika Van|
Box office performance
|Film||Release date||Box office gross||Box office ranking||Budget||Ref(s)|
|North America||Other territories||Worldwide||All time
|Rush Hour||September 18, 1998||$141,186,864||$104,113,136||$245,300,000||#312||#455||$33,000,000|||
|Rush Hour 2||August 3, 2001||$226,164,286||$121,161,516||$347,325,802||#114
|Rush Hour 3||August 10, 2007||$140,125,968||$117,896,265||$258,022,233||#315||#422||$140,000,000|||
|Average||$169.2 million||$114.3 million||$283.5 million|
Critical and public response
|Rush Hour||60% (70 reviews)||60 (23 reviews)||A|
|Rush Hour 2||52% (127 reviews)||48 (28 reviews)||A|
|Rush Hour 3||18% (156 reviews)||44 (32 reviews)||A-|
|2001||Rush Hour 2
|2007||Rush Hour 3
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- ""Rush Hour 4" is Set in Moscow - WorstPreviews.com".
- "The New Summer Blockbuster Economy: Reboots, Prequels, and the End of the Superstar Cash Grab". 23 May 2011.
- R; 2011, y Roper Aug 9; This, 11:24am Share This Tweet This Email (9 August 2011). "Chris Tucker Talks New Comedy Tour, Doing Another 'Friday' & 'Rush Hour 4' With The Breakfast Club [Audio]".
- 07/31/2012, Mtvmovies. "'Rush Hour' Producer Wants Fourth Movie To Be 'Gritty'".
- "Jackie Chan wants to see a script for Rush Hour 4".
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- "Instagram photo by James Lew • Mar 9, 2015 at 4:52pm UTC".
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- Obenson, Tambay (March 13, 2015). "The 'Rush Hour' TV Series Adaptation Has Cast Its Two Lead". Indie Wire.
- Andreeva, Nellie (May 8, 2015). "'Limitless', 'Rush Hour', 'Criminal Minds' Spinoff, 'Code', 'Life' Among CBS Orders". Deadline.
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- "Rush Hour 3: Reviews". Metacritic.