If a franchise makes money, it can never truly die. Rush Hour 3 raked in $258 million worldwide, and even though it’s been five years since the limp, unfunny sequel, producer Arthur Sarkissian hasn’t given up hope of bringing detectives Carter (Chris Tucker) and Lee (Jackie Chan) back for a fourth go-round. This weekend at the Television Critics Association tour, Sarkissian confirmed that Tucker and Chan were “interested” in returning (translation: they haven’t completely rejected the idea of doing a sequel provided they like the script and the paycheck), and there’s currently no screenwriter. As for getting Brett Ratner back in the director’s chair, Sarkissian sounded less-than-enthusiastic at the possibility: “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.”
So what’s “the right way”? Hit the jump for Sarkissian’s contradictory, derivative ideas regarding a sequel.
Speaking to CraveOnline, Sarkissian says of Rush Hour 4:
“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.”
So in the first sentence: “I’m trying to do it closer to how I did Rush Hour 1“. Five sentences later: “I want something new.”
“Maybe younger, maybe Chris is now married, maybe Jackie is married to Octavia Spencer, I don’t know. Married to Chris’s cousin, they live in Shanghai, Chris goes out to visit them. I don’t know, I want something energetic.”
“I want something new.” In Rush Hour 2, the duo went to China.
Sarkissian is hoping to keep the Rush Hour franchise fresh by looking to Fast Five for inspiration [emphasis mine]:
“One of the things that surprised me and actually excited me was how they did Fast Five. 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. There’s not much you can do. You’ve got to be very careful but that’s where creativity and energy and good thought and a little bit of hard work comes to try and give them something that’s in that world but a little different.”
So to recap: Sarkissian wants Rush Hour 4 to be more like Rush Hour 1, but doesn’t want to keep repeating himself. He also wants to do something new, but send the characters to a country where they’ve already been. It sounds like Sarkissian would be better off if he just goes straight to a reboot, finds younger, cheaper actors who can do the action scenes, and still have the same chemistry as Tucker and Chan.