Ice Cube has touted a fourth Friday film for years but per a new report from The Wall Street Journal details how much the movie is far from beginning production — let alone happening in general.
The cold war is said to have started in 2012 when Warner Bros agreed to develop Last Friday for $11 million but when Ice Cube submitted a first draft involving a prison and an updated version that was also denied, he felt the studio was moving methodically in efforts to prevent filming from taking place.
Lawyers for the N.W.A legend accused Warner Bros. of having a “poor steward” for the ghetto-fab franchise and even accused them of lacking racial clarity, writing in a letter that the Friday films were “habitually underfunded in comparison with projects featuring white casts and creative teams.”
The 1995 first Friday film grossed $121.5 million at the box office on just a budget of $3.5 million. Its successors — 2000’s Next Friday and 2002’s Friday After Next also won big in theaters with relatively small budgets: a $59.8 million return on a $11 million budget for Next Friday and $33.5 million earnings on just a $10 million for the Christmas-tinged Friday After Next.
Warner Bros. didn’t let the Hip Hop legend’s legal team chin-check their credibilty without a fight. According to WSJ, they fired back in May, accusing Ice Cube of preaching “revisionist history” (or alternative facts?) while saying the allegations “grounded in a libelous set of knowing falsehoods.”
They also weighed Ice Cube’s team’s demand of relinquishing the rights to his other WB films — 1998’s The Players Club and 2003’s All About the Benjamins. Warner Bros. called the request “extortionate” while refusing to do such a thing.
More than 25 years removed from the original and nearly two decades from the last released film (a short-lived animated series also arrived on MTV in 2007), fans may have to come to the realization Last Friday will never be a thing — especially with the passing of notable cast members John Witherspoon and Tommy “Deebo” Lister Jr. in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
Surviving Friday cast members and fan-favorite characters have also dropped out of contention over the years. Comedian-actor Anthony Johnson portrayed neighborhood crackhead Ezal in the first film but told DJ Vlad in 2018 he learned he was replaced by Onyx rapper Sticky Fingerz — as the crew were shooting Next Friday.
Revisit that interview below.