Third 'Hour' pic premieres in L.A.

HOLLYWOOD — After six years of waiting for New Line’s “Rush Hour 3,” anticipation for a fourth installment quickly emerged at Tuesday’s Chinese Theater preem.

Director Brett Ratner intro’d the actioner with an opening joke — “I’d like to welcome everyone to the first production meeting of ‘Rush Hour 4.'”

He evoked additional laughs by comparing New Line toppers Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne to his mother and father and production chief Toby Emmerich to his big brother.

At the post-preem bash at Les Deux, Lynne said he’d “love” to do another “Rush Hour” and noted that most of Chris Tucker‘s work has been at New Line. And producer Arthur Sarkissian expressed enthusiasm for another go — if it’s within the next few years.

Tucker said he’d waited on “Rush Hour 3″ partly so he could perform charity work in Africa. “I have been busy,” he said. “Just not on movies.”

Festivities drew “Rush Hour 3″ producers Jay Stern, Andrew Davis and Roger Birnbaum; New Line execs Richard Brener, Russell Schwartz and David Tuckerman; plus Brian Grazer, Robert Evans, Paula Wagner, Chris Rock, Quincy Jones and Paris Hilton.

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