LOS ANGELES, June 16 (UPI) -- The director behind "Rush Hour" reportedly is in negotiations to team with John Travolta on the studio's "Be Cool," the sequel to the 1995 feature "Get Shorty."
With Brett Ratner near a signed deal, MGM and the project's producers -- former Jersey partners Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg and Stacy Sher -- are hoping to get the project into production before year's end.
The Hollywood Reporter said the studio and the trio, formerly known as Jersey Films, were known to be courting Ratner for the project.
The only hitch could be that Ratner still owes his next film to New Line Cinema, home of the "Rush Hour" franchise. However, sources said that situation could be worked out if "Cool" can be scheduled around a third installment of the Jackie Chan-Chris Tucker vehicle.
"Cool" will see Travolta reprise his role as Miami mobster-turned-movie producer Chili Palmer, who in the sequel decides that he's had enough of the movie business. He finds himself mixing it up with the rough and tough music business instead, meets a sexy young singer and decides to make her into a star.
In addition to his producing chores, DeVito is expected to return in the sequel as Martin Weir. Peter Steinfeld penned the screenplay from a novel by Elmore Leonard, who will executive produce along with Michael Siegel. At the studio, Elizabeth Cantillon and Stephanie Palmer are overseeing.