Date registered: Jul 2005
Vehicle: 00 ML320
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Looks like the ball for Rush Hour 3 has finally began rolling
Rush Hour 3" Ready to Roll. Finally
Rush Hour 3 is finally on the fast track.
After more than two years of idling in development hell--largely due to Chris Tucker not being in any rush to get back to work, not even for an eight-figure payday--New Line Cinema has locked up all the principals and is slated to begin production next year for a 2007 summer release.
The studio had originally hoped to begin work on the sequel in 2003, but Tucker, despite being offered $20 million, demanded script approval. In the meantime, the other key players--costar Jackie Chan, director Brett Ratner and screenwriter Jeff Nathanson--began to fill up their calendars with other gigs.
Now, per Variety, all four have signed on to make the third installment in the action-comedy franchise about two mismatched cops--one from Los Angeles (Tucker), the other from Hong Kong (Chan)--who team up to battle baddies.
As first reported in New Yorker last April, Tucker will still receive $20 million upfront, and he'll get 20 percent of the back-end gross; those terms will also extend to a future film to be determined. In exchange, the comedian has agreed to forego script approval, as long as the script closely mirrors Nathanson's pitch.
Chan, meanwhile, isn't doing too shabby. He'll take home $15 million against 15 percent of the gross, but will likely reap even more of a financial windfall as he'll own the sequel's distribution rights in China and Hong Kong.
Ratner will reportedly earn $5 million along with five gross points, while Nathanson, who masterminded the first two films, is said to be getting seven-figures to pen the latest entry.
That means Rush Hour 3's above-the-line costs alone will exceed $40 million for the principals alone. The studio projects the film's total budget to top $120 million.
But for New Line, giving up 40 percent of the gross to make it happen was worth it given the franchise's track record.
The original 1998 Rush Hour was budgeted at $35 million and raked in over $140 million domestically. Rush Hour 2, released in 2001, fared even better, earning $226 million in North American ticket sales on a cost of $90 million.
While Tucker dawdled, the others became tied up with different projects. Ratner made the 2004 thriller After the Sunset and was attached to direct the new Superman movie before dropping out to take over the third X-Men movie. Nathanson was hired by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to rewrite the script for Indiana Jones 4. And the prolific Chan worked on 10 movies in the interim.
Tucker, who hasn't been in a feature since Rush Hour 2 four years ago, has instead made headlines for his cameo in pal Michael Jackson's child-molestation trial, tagging along with Bono on a humanitarian mission to Africa and battling a well publicized speeding ticket, where he told cops he was doing 120 to get to church.