Entertainment NewsWill Smith Nearly Starred with Jackie Chan in Rush Hour

Will Smith Nearly Starred with Jackie Chan in Rush Hour


Key Takeaways:
– The role of James Carter in the 1998 film was initially offered to before .
– Smith, allegedly uninterested in another buddy cop movie after Bad Boys, turned down the role.
– Will Smith and Jackie Chan later worked together on The in 2010.
– Rush Hour, despite lacking a star like Smith, grossed $244 million worldwide against its $33 million estimated budget.

The Oscar-winning actor, Will Smith, is renowned for his comprehensive acting range that spans drama, comedy, and action. However, spanning a successful does not void him from missed . One such instance includes the 1998 breakout action-comedy film “Rush Hour.” The Hollywood star was initially offered the role of the street-smart LAPD Detective James Carter, a role later taken up by Chris Tucker.

Will Smith: The Original Choice for Carter in Rush Hour

Rush Hour, starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, was a hit among fans. It's challenging to imagine anyone other than this iconic duo in the buddy cop franchise, renowned for their antics and chemistry. Surprisingly, Tucker wasn't the first choice for this film. Filmmakers initially offered the role to Smith. Their other preferences for Carter's role included Dave Chappelle and Will Smith's “Bad Boys” co-star Lawrence.

The two “Bad Boys” stars, in their hit 1995 film, played Miami narcotics detectives, revealing their capacity to deliver in crime-comedy genre. Despite their past successes, all the actors the filmmakers approached, including Smith, declined the role. Reports suggest Smith was not keen on doing another buddy cop movie after “Bad Boys,” paving the way for Chris Tucker to represent James Carter.

Rush Hour: A Blockbuster Success Despite Missed Opportunities

Even without securing a star like Smith, “Rush Hour” became a significant commercial success, earning $244 million worldwide on an estimated $33 million budget. The film continued to spawn two successful sequels, and talk of a fourth installment continues to circulate.

Smith and Chan's Journey: From Potential Co-stars to Collaborators

While Smith and Jackie Chan couldn't collaborate for “Rush Hour,” the duo did share screen space in the 2010 film, “The Karate Kid,” featuring Smith's son, Jaden. As per their meeting at a Japanese restaurant, Will Smith casually proposed the idea of working together in a film to Chan. Surprisingly, Smith reached out to him a year later with “The Karate Kid” . Initially, Chan assumed he would be playing the titular character, before Smith told him he would be playing the role of the teacher.

Will Smith and “The Karate Kid”

The Oscar-winning actor served as a alongside his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, in “The Karate Kid,” which was a box-office success with $359 million in global earnings. Chan complimented Smith's efforts as the film's producer and also attributed the movie's success to him.

Both “Rush Hour” and “The Karate Kid” are currently available to rent or buy on Prime Video, representing two significant stages in both Smith's and Chan's career, one missed and one embraced.

The above narrative offers a glimpse into the intriguing process behind casting decisions and how they can shape a film's course. While actors may turn down certain due to numerous reasons, like Smith, it does not nullify the possibility of similar future collaborations, as seen in the case of Chan and Smith's successful joint venture, “The Karate Kid.”

Megan Dianehttps://www.projectcasting.com
Hi, I'm Megan Browne, the Head of Partnerships at Project Casting - a job board for the entertainment industry. As Head of Partnerships, I help businesses find the best talent for their influencer campaigns, photo shoots, and film productions. Creating these partnerships has enabled me to help businesses scale and reach their true potential. I'm excited to continue driving growth by connecting people with projects they're passionate about.


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