‘Rush Hour’ TV Series May Be Better Than It Sounds
Rush Hour could be the latest film franchise to undergo a TV makeover. Warner Bros. Television is reportedly developing an hour-long action comedy based on the hit blockbuster films, starring funny duo Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker.
According to Deadline, the small screen adaptation is expected to stay true to the premise of the original film, with the story following a straight-edged, rule-abiding Hong Kong police officer who gets assigned to a case in Los Angeles and is subsequently teamed with a cocky, black LAPD officer who couldn’t be more different. As of now, the project has yet to find a network, but per Deadline, it’s an appealing property and has a good chance of getting snapped up.
The original 1998 Rush Hour film was an unexpected hit. It grossed over $244 million worldwide and spurred two equally profitable sequels. Overall, the hugely successful franchise ended up garnering around $845 million, largely due to the appeal of Chan and Tucker as a comedic team. It’s difficult to imagine that a TV version could replicate the same success without the two involved — an opinion that some fans have wasted no time in making known.
Their doubt isn’t exactly unwarranted, as we all know film-to-TV adaptations can go either way. Then again, there are several significant factors that could make the potential series better than it sounds. For starters, the actual premise lends itself well to the small screen, unlike some other reboots currently in the works. As with all detective-based plots, the story doesn’t need to focus on only one case. Instead, it can always be extended simply by having the characters take on another assignment together, which (hopefully) means less risk of creative burnout. Plus, while the original stars may not be involved in the series, several original Rush Hour team members have already signed on to the project.
According to Deadline, Brett Ratner, the director of the original films, will serve as an executive producer on the reboot, along with initial Rush Hour producer Arthur Sarkissian. Their input could potentially help translate some of the zaniness that made the franchise so well-liked the first time around into the small screen version. Ratner and Sarkissian will be working alongside Cougar Town’s Bill Lawrence and Blake McCormick, who will be co-writing the script together, as well as executive producing the new series.
It may seem like an odd team, but it makes sense given their respective backgrounds. Both Lawrence and McCormick have extensive experience in comedy. Previous to their work on Cougar Town, Lawrence created the cult favorite Scrubs and the late ‘90s to early 2000s sitcom Spin City, while McCormick worked on Fox’s King of the Hill. Per Deadline, the duo also worked together on an hour-long buddy comedy, Chasing Skips, which landed a put pilot commitment at Fox last year. Meanwhile, Sarkissian and Ratner have worked on plenty of action films, with the latter most recently producing flicks like Hercules and Barely Lethal. While it’s unlikely that anything could properly replace Chan and Tucker, perhaps the combination will work to produce an entertaining — if not quite as satisfying — Rush Hour reboot.
Again, the project is only in its early stages, so we’ll have to see if it lands anywhere. In the meantime, fans will have to keep wondering whether Rush Hour 4, the long-discussed next installment in the original franchise, will ever actually get made.