“Nowadays, you need a middleman to push things; in the old days, we didn’t need a push from a middleman,” Chan told me over the weekend, comparing the difficulties in getting together with a star like Jet Li (whom he’ll do battle with in “The Forbidden Kingdom” on April 18) and synching schedules with Tucker.
“It’s like two days ago when Chris Tucker called me,” the martial arts legend said Saturday. “We sat down and decided we want to do another movie. Not a ’Rush Hour’ — something new.”
That would seem to be good news for fans who’ve been so attracted to the Chan/ Tucker action-comedy series that they’ve powered it to nearly $1 billion worldwide, but who also largely considered last summer’s “Rush Hour 3” to be an indication that the franchise has run out of gas.
“I said yes, and after I shook [Tucker’s] hand, I said: ’Look, we need a middleman. I don’t want to shake hands, then I go back to Hong Kong and you stay here, I get busy and you get busy,’ ” he recalled. “You have to have somebody in the middle to follow up, otherwise it will never happen.
“We’ve just agreed to do it,” he added. “Now we’re looking for the writer.”
Pressed for more information, Chan said the film didn’t have a title, and he didn’t reveal whether “Rush Hour” series director Brett Ratner would return. Previously, Ratner would have served as such a “middleman” between the two stars — though maybe not as effectively as Chan would’ve liked. “We finished ’Rush Hour 1,’ and it was six years later that we made ’Rush Hour 2,’ ” he said, “and then six years later we made ’Rush Hour 3.’ It’s too long!”
Would you like to see Tucker and Chan together again? Should they invite Ratner to come along, or work with someone new?