According to internet rumors, Brett Ratner might be on his way to assembling that dream cast for "Rush Hour 3," as the Muscles from Brussels himself — Jean-Claude Van Damme — has reportedly revived speculation of his involvement in the Jackie Chan–Chris Tucker screen reunion.
Rumor of Van Damme‘s involvement in the third "Rush Hour" flick has been floating around for a few months now, as even IMDB has had him penciled in to possibly play a character called Bruno Cavalier in the Ratner project. Yesterday an AICN posting reported that Van Damme had appeared on British TV confirming the role to some degree, although official confirmation has yet to come.
The AICN rumor also reports that the plot of "Rush Hour 3" will see stars Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker battling the Triads again — in Paris. It also, strangely, claims that Michael Richards — yes, Kramer from "Seinfeld" — will have a role in the pic.
So far, the "Rush Hour 3" production has definitely inked returner Roselyn Sanchez to reprise her role as Isabella Molina, although the early word is that her role this time around will be significantly smaller.
Ratner announced his dream cast a few months back, and it’s one helluva lineup: Gong Li, Aishwarya Rai, Tony Jaa, and Houston Rocket Yao Ming (in a bizarre recreation of the Bruce Lee–Kareem Abdul Jabbar match up, with Chris Tucker fighting the 7’6" center)…making the thought of Van Damme coming out of direct-to-video retirement a bit less of a stretch.
And while we’re on the subject of "Rush Hour 3" casting rumors, let’s not forget Van Damme’s fellow action star, Steven Seagal. Seagal has repeatedly voiced his interest in playing opposite real-life buddy Jackie Chan, and was supposedly up for the villain role now supposedly nabbed by Van Damme.
But timing may be the problem for Seagal’s "Rush Hour 3" aspiration; production on the pic begins in mid-August, leaving little time for Seagal to shoot before he kicks off his European "Mojo Priest" blues tour in September…get your tickets now!
Steven Seagal, ten movies ago in "Half Past Dead."