NEW YORK—Wishing to evolve artistically beyond the blockbuster Rush Hour franchise that has made him famous, actor Chris Tucker announced Monday that he would concentrate on a series of more intimate Rush Hour projects "closer to [his] heart."

"It's healthy for an actor to be challenged once in a while," said Tucker, who is currently working on an Off-Broadway musical adaptation of Rush Hour, a Rush Hour co-starring Jet Li instead of Jackie Chan, an experimental Rush Hour-inspired short to air on the Independent Film Channel, and a top-secret project tentatively titled Rush Hour 4. "Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not turning away from or disavowing the more mainstream Rush Hour work. In fact, I'm sure I'll be missing it while shooting Hora Pico in Spain this fall."

Tucker added he also hopes to start work on a novelization of Rush Hour sometime next year.