In the last 13 years, Chris Tucker has made all of three films. In those three films, he's played the same character. That's a nice life. Still, you can't say he hasn't earned it: The "Rush Hour" trilogy brought in about $850 million worldwide, and while Jackie Chan deserves some of the credit too, it's funny how this franchise really seems to be Tucker's, not his. (This is the downside to playing the straight man.) But it now looks like Tucker has decided to play somebody other than Detective James Carter.
Variety is hearing that Tucker "is in talks" to be in David O. Russell's "The Silver Linings Playbook," which will star Bradley Cooper as a recently released mental patient finding love with Jennifer Lawrence. If this movie was "It's Kind of a Funny Story," Tucker would be playing the Zach Galifianakis character who lives in the institution and advises our hero. Depending on how it works out, this could be Tucker's "see, I'm more than the guy with the bug eyes and high-pitched voice" role that gives him a little critical notice.
But if you prefer Tucker's older, funnier roles, then perhaps you'll be more interested in his purported involvement in "Neighborhood Watch," where he'll play one of the guys (with Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill) who's part of a neighborhood watch program that stumbles into a plot to destroy the world. It's a sci-fi comedy that feels broad and mainstream and would normally be directed by Shawn Levy if he wasn't busy with "Frankenstein." (He will be producing it, though.) In other words, it's a great way for Tucker to remind people who he is without having to worry about being the principal star. And if it keeps him from pondering more "Rush Hour" movies, then we're all for it.