Rush Hour 3 on the Fast Track

Variety reports that New Line Cinema has finally gotten Rush Hour 3 on the fast track. The studio has at long last signed Chris Tucker, Jackie Chan, director Brett Ratner and screenwriter Jeff Nathanson to return for the sequel.

Tucker will earn $20 million against 20% of gross, and his deal comes with a second-picture commitment for the same salary on a film to be determined later. The actor has given up script approval as long as the final draft matches what Nathanson pitched, adds the trade.

Chan will get around $15 million against 15% of gross, but he will also own the film's distribution rights in China and Hong Kong.

Ratner will get an increase in the upfront part of the $5 million-against-5% gross deal he had on Rush Hour 2.

Nathanson, who scripted the last film, will be paid seven figures to write the third installment.

New Line has the option to greenlight the film by May, based on script approval and a budget the studio hopes won't exceed $120 million. That greenlight would trigger pay-or-play deals for the helmer and the two stars.

The film will begin shooting next summer in the U.S. and Paris and anchor the studio's summer 2007 schedule.

Arthur Sarkissian will produce with Roger Birnbaum, Jon Glickman and Jay Stern, the latter of whom is Ratner's Rat Entertainment partner.

The film had been expected to begin production this fall for release next summer. While the movie was on hold, Nathanson rewrote the Indiana Jones 4 script for George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, and Ratner took on directing duties for X-Men 3.

Released in 2001, Rush Hour 2 was an international hit that grossed $226 million domestically and $329 million worldwide. Tucker hasn't made a movie since.