Chris Tucker Hilariously Explains How He Negotiated His $20 Million Salary for the ‘Rush Hour’ Sequel
Because of its success, he was able to negotiate an extremely lucrative deal to appear in the sequel. Looking back at said negotiations, Tucker says he told New Line Cinema he needed $20 million because, frankly, another action star had allegedly received a similar payout at the time.
‘Rush Hour’ made Chris Tucker an international star
Tucker was already known for his work in movies such as Friday, Money Talks, and The Fifth Element, but he became a global star when he did Rush Hour, a buddy-cop comedy film that also starred Jackie Chan.
Recalling how he landed the movie, Tucker said in a January interview on Shannon Sharpe’s podcast, Club Shay Shay, that he’d been looking for new work after completing other projects. He and his manager approached New Line Cinema and were told about plans for Rush Hour.
“So we went after it and tried to get the Rush Hour script and do the movie with Jackie,” he said. “And it came together because one of the producers wanted me in the movie. They wanted a fresh face … and I got the part.”
According to Variety, Tucker was paid $3 million for the film.
Rush Hour debuted in theaters in 1998 and became a big hit at the box office, pulling in more than $240 million worldwide.
How Chris Tucker negotiated his ‘Rush Hour 2’ salary
When asked about Rush Hour 2, Tucker was down for it — but only for the right number.
“Back then, I said, after the success of the first Rush Hour, my movie made over $100 million, Tom Cruise’s movie made over $100 million. He’s getting $20 million, so I need to get $20 million,” Tucker recalled to Sharpe.
“So I just went in there and told the studio, ‘If y’all wanna do another one, I want $20 million.’ And they said OK because they knew that it was gonna make a whole bunch of money. And I felt like I was worth that because I knew the movie was gonna make some more money too,” Tucker continued.
“I guess that’s the business side of me that said, go ahead and ask for it. This is the time to ask for it,” he added.
Tucker would eventually earn an even bigger paycheck for Rush Hour 3 — $25 million to be exact, making him Hollywood’s highest-paid actor at the time.
Will there be a ‘Rush Hour 4’?
As Digital Spy notes, Tucker has repeatedly said Rush Hour 4 is in the works. He explained in a January interview on the Winging It podcast: “We’re working on a few things on the script right now. Jackie Chan wants to do it, I want to do it, the studio wants to do it, so we’re trying to get it together.”
However, Chan’s management company clarified in a later statement that its client actually hadn’t agreed to anything.
With that, it’s hard to tell if the sequel will happen. We guess we’ll see.