While promoting their newest film Rush Hour 4 in New York City yesterday, Jackie Chan apparently became enraged at Chris Tucker’s self-promotion as the “star” of the franchise and strangled him to death in front of hundreds of shocked on-lookers.
The former Mr. Nice Guy allegedly mocked Tucker with, “Can you understand the words NOT coming out of your mouth now, you son-of-a-bitch?” Chan refused to let go of Tucker’s throat, deftly fending off people rushing the stage with skilled kicks and even using Tucker’s head as an impromptu weapon.
RIGHT: Can Socky fill Tucker’s shoes in Rush Hour 4?
After dropping the apparently lifeless body to the ground, Chan did a back flip, scaled a 15-foot wall, swung from a rope to a third story balcony, shimmied across a cable and dropped onto the roof of a passing semi-truck, making good his escape.
Tucker, meanwhile, was rushed to a nearby medical facility where he was pronounced dead. Ironically, Tucker then resumed his renown rapid-fire, repetitive rambling. “That’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen,” said one physician. “Even with no apparent brain-activity, his mouth just keeps on working.”
Chris Tucker is considered a comedic genius with Oscar worthy performances in The Fifth Element and House Party 3. The elusive icon of understatement has been in only 3 movies in the last decade, unlike the ubiquitous Samuel L. Jackson who HASN’T been in only three. “The world will sorely miss his great talent,” said Rush Hour director Brett Ratner.
The staccato star had recently fallen on hard times. Tucker bought a 10,000-square-foot waterfront home on Lake Apopka at the height of the real estate boom for $6 million, just as Rush Hour 3 was opening in 2007. But, now he apparently still owes more than $4.4 million and is in foreclosure. ”I think he was planning on working up until Rush Hour 8 and then retiring,” said a close friend of Tucker’s who declined to be identified because he still owes him money.
All was good for about four years…but signs of money problems began to surface a few months ago when Tucker was spotted hustling cars at exit ramps with a sign reading, “Will Talk for Food”. Persistent rumors about problems with the IRS soon followed, but a deal to make 5 more Rush Hour films seemed put Tucker back on top financially.
Rush Hour 3 was originally supposed to be the last in the series until this summer when StrangleCorp Productions decided to make more sequels. “Rush Hour 2 was released in 2001 and reportedly grossed more than $345 million worldwide. So we figured doing a 4th installment would make, like, a gazillion dollars in this creatively bankrupt entertainment cycle,” said Robert Baron, StrangleCorp CFO and avid Chris Tucker fan.
It was when it announced that Jackie Chan was to be written out of the sequel and replaced by Owen Wilson in Asian make-up that the troubles began. A drunken Chan allegedly showed up at a meeting between Wilson, Tucker and executive producers threatening to kick the crap out of everybody with comedic flare unless he was allowed to continue his character. After a moment of silence, Owens proclaimed, “Well screw that!” and everyone present reluctantly agreed; but an ugly uneasiness between Tucker and Chan couldn’t be ignored.
Chan had reportedly become distraught over his own mediocre movie career and envious of Tucker’s stellar success. Once an acclaimed stuntman in Hong Kong who began his career in Bruce Lee movies, Chan’s first U.S. movie, Battle Creek Brawl, was cold-cocked at the box office; he recovered with bit parts in the highly successful Cannonball Run movies but then starred in a U.S. film called, The Protector…which flopped.
Chan took the idea behind The Protector and made a little known film out of it called Police Story. But besides eye-catching stunts, innovative action and genuine comedic timing, Chan brought little else to cinema with his combination of kung-fu and humor. He continued to languish in unremarkable films such as Snake in Eagle’s Shadow and the forgettable Drunken Master until he lucked into a once-in-a-lifetime role in Rush Hour.
“We were initially looking to cast the highly talented David Carradine,” said Ratner “But Carradine was hung up with previous commitments in Thailand, so we threw this little known Chan fellow an opportunity. We figured Tucker would bring his vast fan base to the film and maybe Chan might get a little recognition for a change. We didn’t expect him to start a freaking rumble in the Bronx! Chan could do 100 films and he’d still never be on par with Chris,” added Ratner. “He’d be lucky to do juice commercials.”
Chan was last seen eluding police down a New Jersey turnpike at high speed on a motorcycle. During the pursuit, Chan reportedly jumped his bike over a drawbridge, cleared a helicopter and landed the cycle on a gravel lane, laid it down and slid under a horse-drawn carriage, narrowly missing an oncoming bus before slamming headfirst into a guardrail. Waving that he was OK, Chan got to his feet, high-jacked a sports car and escaped down a drainage canal at high speed. According to one State Trooper, “We are not impressed.”