’s important to keep in mind that Brett Ratner is directing X-Men 3 because of Chris Tucker. If Tucker had just come back for Rush Hour 3 earlier when he was supposed to, Ratner would never have had the time to try to introduce mutant hookers to the film franchise.

But now Tucker is back in. He’s getting 20 million dollars against 20 percent of the gross, making him insanely, unbelievably rich. He has ceded final script approval, though, with the exception that the final script must reflect what Jeff Nathanson originally pitched some time ago. I hope he pitched a boring and formulaic beating of a dead horse!

Filming on Rush Hour 3 will start next summer in the US and in France – since the movie is taking on such timely topics as French people being snobby – with the picture being a major part of New Line’s 2007 slate. The studio has until May to greenlight the film, which they will do as long as its budget is under 120 million (which sounds fucking insane for a buddy cop movie, but when you realize that Tucker is getting 20 mil, Chan 15 mil and Ratner is getting 5 million, the movie already costs more than most of my favorite films of 2005 before they shot a frame).

Tucker’s deal includes a fourth film, by the way, so fans hoping that the complex themes and stories of the Rush Hour trilogy would all be completed here may have to wait even longer to find out the true feelings Lee has for Carter.