Martin Lawrence Says He Was Offered Chris Tucker’s Role In ‘Rush Hour’ But Turned It Down Because It ‘Wasn’t Enough Money’

As health concerns swirl around actor Martin Lawrence, the actor is proclaiming that he is not only healthy but that he remains one of Hollywood’s most bankable actors. The “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” co-star recently claimed that this franchise was not the only big blockbuster film franchise he was asked to be a part of.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 20: Martin Lawrence attends his Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Ceremony on April 20, 2023 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

In an interview on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on June 4, he told the host that he was once asked to be a part of the uber-successful “Rush Hour” movie series. The first film was released in 1998.

No, Thank You

“Jackie Chan asked me to star in ‘Rush Hour with him, but I turned it down,” the “Martin” show lead said during the show’s true confessions game.

He later added why he didn’t join the cast, “Wasn’t enough money.”

At the time of the casting for the film, Lawrence had been finished an epic run with the first “Bad Boy” installation that premiered in 1995. The movie was an instant smash, eventually raking in $65,807,024 in theaters, according to Box Office Mojo.

The film would be his first blockbuster, after even starring in other films like “Do the Right Thing,” “House Party,” “House Party 2,” and “Boomerang.”

By the late ’90s, when “Rush Hour” was being filmed, he says he rejected the offer to star opposite Chan. When asked if he wish that he had taken the role over Chris Tucker, he said he did not.

“I was happy for Chris, that’s what it was supposed to be. Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, and they brought a beautiful franchise with ‘Rush Hour,’” the 59-year-old said.

Tucker reportedly was paid $3 million for the first film, which was a hit.

Both movies, “Bad Boy” and “Rush Hour,” were cop movies, where the partners bounced jokes off each other. They also were both wildly successful — but one did a bit better than the other.

The first three installations of “Bad Boys” made $410,720,712 over the past 29 years.

The combined three “Rush Hour” movies made $507,477,118 at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo.

Martin Lawrence, Always a Bad Boy

That gap might be closed with the debut of “Bad Boys: Ride or Die.”

“Ride or Die” updates the audience that has been following the franchise since it started on the latest life changes of Mike (Smith) and Marcus (Lawrence).

In the new film, the dynamic duo faces a major shift after Marcus suffers a heart attack at Mike’s wedding. This event leads Marcus to gain a new perspective and a sense of mortality, while Mike starts to experience panic attacks, realizing the dangers his job poses to his loved ones.

Ironically, many in the press and on social media, have suggested that Lawrence may have had a health crisis in his real life, pointing to his seemingly slurred speech. The former Def Comedy Jam host recently reassured his fans that he is OK.

In the film, the two cops attempt to navigate their evolving personal lives, Mike and Marcus are thrust into a high-stakes mission, according to a review of the film in USA Today.

Their former boss, Captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano), who recently passed away, is posthumously accused of corruption and ties to drug cartels, the review adds.

Determined to clear his name, the pair seeks help from Armando Aretas (Jacob Scipio), the very man who killed Captain Howard and was revealed as Mike’s son in the previous film. The investigation uncovers a deep-seated conspiracy, framing them for murder orchestrated by a nefarious ex-intelligence operative (Eric Dane). Now fugitives, they find themselves on the run with Armando and a $5 million bounty on their heads.

Packed with extensive exposition, intricate subplots, thrilling action sequences, and memorable character moments, “Ride or Die” also features an array of cameos from stars like Tiffany Haddish and DJ Khaled, all within a compact runtime of less than two hours.

“Bad Boy: Ride or Die” hits the theaters on Friday, June 7.

What people are saying

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top