*Variety is reporting that Chris Tucker is coming out of his hiatus with two new films on deck.
The comedian, who last appeared on the big screen in 2007’s “Rush Hour 3,” is in talks to join David O. Russell’s “The Silver Linings Playbook” at the same time he’s circling a key role in 20th Century Fox’s comedy “Neighborhood Watch.”
Tucker has filmed just three movies since 1998, all in the “Rush Hour” franchise. The last of these came after a break that lasted six years, in part because Tucker was in no hurry to make the film.
Late last year, Tucker was attached to Warner Bros. heist pic “The Rabbit,” a project the studio is still developing; and earlier this year he was considered for a lead role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained,” but the part went to Jamie Foxx.
“The Silver Linings Playbook” stars Bradley Cooper as a former high school teacher who’s institutionalized for depression and then released into the care of his mother. He tries to win back his ex-wife but becomes involved with an eccentric neighbor with problems of her own. Jennifer Lawrence is set to play the neighbor, while Robert De Niro will play Cooper’s father.
Tucker will play Cooper’s spirited friend who lives in a mental hospital. He escapes on several occasions to visit the troubled protagonist, as the duo have a special understanding of each other.
The Weinstein Co. is behind Russell’s adaptation of Matthew Quick’s novel, and Harvey Weinstein will produce.
As for “Neighborhood Watch,” Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill are set to star in the Akiva Schaffer-directed comedy, which follows a group of suburban neighbors whose Neighborhood Watch is really a front for them to escape their families — until they discover a plot to destroy the world. Tucker is being eyed for the role of Jamarcus, who is recently divorced.
This year, Tucker has been on a standup tour that started in July and runs through November. At a stop in Mountain View, Calif., last month, Tucker told the New York Times that his time off the bigscreen has more to do with the roles offered him and that he doesn’t feel like he’s been on a hiatus “until people say, ‘Hey, where you been?’ I’ll be like: ‘I’ve been here. I’ve been living.'”