Over the course of three films released between 1998 and 2007, audiences fell in love with the Rush Hour franchise’s witty and wild Chief Inspector Lee and Detective James Carter, played by Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.
The Rush Hour franchise remains a crowd favorite to this day, despite the 15 years that have passed since the last film hit theaters. While the films gradually declined in quality — a common occurrence in film franchises — each one is beloved by its group of fans, many of whom return to the action flicks for laughs and comfort when they need an escape from the real world. Three films, several decades, and a failed television series later, the buddy cop franchise still generates plenty of buzz, but the lack of recent releases prevents Rush Hour from reentering the mainstream.
Rumors of a potential fourth film have been swirling for years, as fans pray to see their dreams manifest in a modern installment. The failure of the CBS series is a poor indicator of the potential success of another film, particularly were that film to lean on the star power that made the first three so popular. The series veered away from stars Chan and Tucker, a stellar comedic team whose energy carried the films through slow moments and uninspired plot points. The show, lacking this element, quickly flopped and was ultimately ditched after a single season.
A fourth Rush Hour film may fare better than the doomed CBS series, however, particularly if Chan and Tucker return to their former roles. It’s been a while since they last appeared as Chief Inspector Lee and Detective James Carter, but there is plenty of comedic — and action — potential in returning to these powerhouse actors.
Is Rush Hour 4 really happening?
News of a fourth Rush Hour has been teased for more than a decade now, persisting since nearly the moment the third film hit theaters. Hopes for another installment have wavered over the years, but the franchise’s fanbase would still welcome a return to Chan and Tucker’s beloved characters, particularly one that treated the time that has passed with humor and respect.
Ten years ago, a fourth Rush Hour seemed like a certainty. These days, chances are far less likely. Chan continues to pump out hits despite ringing in his 68th birthday recently, but Tucker is far less active these days. His most recent release saw archived footage of Tucker appear in Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, but his most recent film role aired all the way back in 2016. He’s been far less active than Chan, but that doesn’t mean he’d turn his nose up at the possibility of a Rush Hour 4.
For its part, the internet seems determined to see Rush Hour 4 happen. The film has a bare IMDb page that provides very few details, but it does tap Tucker as the film’s star and Ross LaManna as the writer. Any plot details are currently unknown, but the IMDb page’s existence displays the hope many fans continue to hold out.
All that hope might just pay off. In late 2022, Jackie Chan delighted hundreds of fans when he announced that the early stages of a Rush Hour 4 were officially moving forward. He informed a crowd at Red Sea Film Festival in Saudi Arabia that a script is underway, and he’s already in talks with the film’s director. No further details have leaked, and even Chan is staying tight-lipped, but the minimal information that he shared in December is enough to keep the fandom going for a few more years, at least.
The fact that, according to Chan, the script was still in the early stages in December indicates that Rush Hour 4, should it ever happen, likely won’t see a release until 2024 at the earliest. Movies take a long time to make, and ironing out a script is one of the earliest stages. By the time the film actually hits theaters, there will likely be nearly 20 years separating it from its predecessor.