Martin Lawrence could have attached his name to another iconic franchise.

The Maryland-raised actor cemented his reputation in Hollywood through comedy, but he also had the chops to translate his talents on the big screen. According to Ebony magazine, Lawrence snagged his first movie role in 1989 with Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing.”

He has gone on to impress at the box office in films that include the “Bad Boys” franchise and “Big Momma’s House,” among others. Interestingly, his career could have also featured a lead role in “Rush Hour” alongside Jackie Chan. However, Martin revealed he turned down the opportunity while promoting his latest movie “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” with Will Smith on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

During a segment on Fallon’s show, called “True Confessions,” Smith had to deliberate with the host on whether this statement was true: “Jackie Chan invited me to star in ‘Rush Hour’ with him, but I turned it down.”

Lawrence confirmed the claim and said the conversation occurred around the time that Chan appeared on his show, “Martin.” He did my show. So we talked somewhere in between there… We talked in person. Then, we had a dinner at Mr Chow,” Lawrence said.

The deliberation about the movie came to a standstill and, ultimately, no deal was made. Lawrence said “there wasn’t enough money” for him to star in the role.

“Rush Hour” would still make its way to the box office in 1998, and the role was filled by Chris Tucker, who was compensated $3 million for his participation, Variety reports. The film was a massive success earning $33.0 million during its opening week and a lifetime gross valued at $141.2 million, per IMDb Pro’s Box Office Mojo.
The film spawned two sequels, with reportedly a fourth in the works.
“I was happy for Chris. I was like, ‘That’s what it was supposed to be. Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan,’ and they brought a beautiful franchise with ‘Rush Hour,’” Lawrence said on “The Tonight Show.”