Chris Tucker is expected to sign a two-picture, $40 million contract at New Line shortly which is expected put "Rush Hour 3" on track for a late Fall start in Los Angeles and Paris reports Variety.
Tucker's involvement also activates a near-$20 million payday for Jackie Chan and a $7.5 million payday for director Brett Ratner - essentially greenlighting a film that will cost around $100 million and will anchor New Line's 2006 summer.
Jeff Nathanson, who wrote "Rush Hour 2" and just finished "Indiana Jones 4," will begin writing the sequel script as soon as Tucker signs.
Ratner also recently began talks to direct a "Creature of the Black Lagoon" remake at Universal.
Tucker has steadily turned down every film offered him and hasn't worked since "Rush Hour 2" back in 2001, though he has toyed with the idea of sequelizing another Ratner-directed comedy, "Money Talks."
Thanks to 'Wilkes'.