Yao Ming Turns Down "Rush Hour 3"

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Brett Ratner can cross out yet another celebrity from his dream cast for "Rush Hour 3." In an interview with a sports writer from a Chinese newspaper, it's revealed that Basketball superstar Yao Ming (Year of the Yao) has turned down a role in the film.

Ratner had wanted to recreate the popular fight scene between Bruce Lee and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from "Game of Death" with Chris Tucker in the Lee role and Yao Ming in the Abdul-Jabbar role. Ming didn't give a reason for declining the offer, but his image probably has a lot to do with it. He is considered a hero in China; playing a heavy might not sit too well with his Chinese fans.

In an interview with ComingSoon.net in May, Brett Ratner named his dream cast for "Rush Hour 3" - Tony Jaa, Yao Ming, Aishwarya Rai (Bollywood's most popular actress), and Gong Li. Jaa declined Ratner's offer about a month ago. There's no word from Rai and Li yet.

"Rush Hour 3" is the third installment of New Line Cinema's lucrative Rush Hour franchise starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. It's scheduled to open on Aug 10, 2007.

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