Rush Hour 4 aims to return the series to the gritty, unsparing realism of the first Rush Hour
Among the earliest, most knee-jerk reactions to the suggestion of a fourth Rush Hour movie would undoubtedly be, "But as the series progressed it has only gotten further and further away from the gritty, down-to-earth veracity of the first film, which is as unsparing a document of the effects of rampant crime and inner-city decay on the universal human condition as has ever been committed to celluloid, and therefore a fourth Rush Hour would only be an even blurrier imitation copy structured around Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan being put in another city to bicker. THANK YOU SIRS, BUT NO." However, series producer Arthur Sarkissian is prepping Rush Hour 4, and he has already anticipated your misgivings: "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," he tells CraveOnline of the sequel he is currently developing with Tucker, Chan, and a deep understanding of the way society is ground into jagged shapes by the brunt force of its least sociable elements. "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," Sarkissian adds. "I don’t want that. I want something new."
Indeed, Sarkissian has a lot of new ideas that could expand Rush Hour into an ongoing chronicling of corruption's toll on our most mismatched cops, the chaotic din growing louder until they can no longer understand the words coming out of each other's mouths. He muses aloud, "Maybe [the 'two new characters' are] 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"—all of which are certainly down-to-earth and gritty extensions of the Rush Hour storyline that could produce even more down-to-earth and gritty outcomes sustaining the franchise well beyond Chan and Tucker.
Of course, with Sarkissian's ambitions to return Rush Hour to the realism of the first film by adding younger cops who could potentially carry sequels, Oscar winners, comical marriage subplots, and spur-of-the-moment Shanghai vacations, Sarkissian hints that there isn't necessarily room for Brett Ratner anymore—as Ratner is a storyteller, a dreamer of dreams, and Sarkissian obviously wants more of an essayist. Still, he adds that Ratner is "more than welcome to do it" but only if he agrees to "do it in the right way," suggesting that Ratner should immediately immerse himself in the nearest urban blight to begin soaking up inspiration.