National Treasure and Last Vegas director Jon Turteltaub has signed on to helm the pilot episode of Rush Hour for CBS, according to Deadline. Based on New Line’s eponymous buddy cop franchise, the show is poised to revitalize the series in an entirely different medium while still retaining that fish out of water comedy heritage.
Fans of the original may disappointed to note that CBS’ rendition of Rush Hour won’t bring back stars Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker – once described as the fastest hands in the east meeting the biggest mouth of the west – for another bout of crime fighting action, but with Brett Ratner and Arthur Sarkissian returning to executive produce, the network’s small screen reboot could very well channel the gleeful, on-the-nose magic of the trilogy.
The pair will team up with Scrubs and Cougar Town‘ producer Bill Lawrence on the production, which will still retain the same dynamic of the 1998 original, albeit with different, slightly younger actors as Detective James Carter and Chief Inspector Lee. And quite frankly, it’s the dynamic between these two characters that transformed the original films – which could have so easily gone down as by-the-numbers action flicks – into the cult hits they are today.
For the uninitiated, Rush Hour pits James Carter together with a stoic, well-respected police officer from Hong Kong. However, their partnership is far from a match made in heaven, given that Carter is an arrogant, cocksure detective who considers himself somewhat of a lone wolf. He is, in essence, the ying to Inspector Lee’s Yang.
With this in mind, one can’t help but feel that the success of CBS’ reboot will hinge on whomever is cast in those aforementioned roles. Mind you, the network may have landed a lucky charm in Turteltaub, given that the previous three pilots he directed – Jericho, Common Law, and Harper’s Island on CBS – have been ordered to series.
Will Rush Hour have a similar fate? Only time will tell.