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The dust has settled on Beverly Hills Cop not becoming a series in the near future, but another hugely popular action comedy is attempting to head to television. Warner Bros. TV has sealed the deal to turn the buddy cop pic Rush Hour into an hour-long series full of big stunts and bigger laughs, with franchise director Brett Ratner serving as executive producer. We knew it was only a matter of time before Ratner went back down this road…at 100 m.p.h.
The most interesting part of this Rush Hour series, at least from a TV viewing standpoint, is that Scrubs and Cougar Town creator Bill Lawrence will serve as co-writer and co-executive producer for the series. His involvement speaks to the level of comedy that Warner Bros. TV wants to bring to this project. (His other work includes creating Spin City and Clone High.) According to Deadline, he co-wrote the pilot (presumably) with showrunner Blake McCormick, who was a writer/producer on Cougar Town and King of the Hill.
The first film was written by Jim Kouf, who has gone on to create the dark fairy tale drama Grimm, and Ross LaManna, who also wrote the non-James Cameron Titanic flick in 1996. The second two Rush Hour flicks were written by Jeff Nathanson, who penned Ratner’s Tower Heist, Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me if You Can and Speed 2: Cruise Control. It doesn’t take Sherlock to figure out that Lawrence’s sensibilities are completely different from those guys. And on the opposite side of the spectrum, Lawrence isn’t really known for writing exciting action sequences. It'll be interesting to see the jokes to car crash ratio if this thing ever comes to light.
With such a simple concept as its hook, it’s no surprise that Rush Hour’s series will stick fairly closely to the original film. In it, Jackie Chan’s detective is given an assignment in Los Angeles that eventually involves him pissing off all the bad guys, which is helped along by his arrogantly outspoken partner Detective Carter (Chris Tucker). Together, over the course of three movies, they run around causing trouble in different countries while trying to stop larger troublemakers. Chan does fight choreography, and Tucker does shrill screams. It’s a formula that seemed destined for 1980s cable television as soon as the film came out in 1998. Check out one of fight scenes in the clip below.
It’s been seven years since Rush Hour 3 came out, bringing the franchise’s worldwide earnings to over $850 million. There had been talk of a Rush Hour 4 for ages, with Chan himself offering an update just last month. But it looks like Ratner wants to take his post-Hercules career in the direction of a different-sized screen.
Will that be the right move? Do you guys want to see Rush Hour in an episode format with or without Chris Tucker involved?