One of the most sacred movie franchises in Black movie history is without a doubt the Friday films. After losing John “Pops” Witherspoon back in October 2019, and then infamous bully Tiny “Zeus” Lister Jr. aka Deebo late last year, many have been hoping to see at the very least one final film that honors both iconic characters while also bringing on the laughs once again.
Unfortunately it looks like we may not be getting that often-delayed Last Friday movie currently in production following development issues with Warner Bros. and the series’ lead star, Ice Cube.
According to The Wall Street Journal, both sides have been wrapped up in weeks of back and forth emails lately that continue to halt production on Last Friday, which if you’ve been keeping up has been close to a decade of delays.
Here’s a little more background on the main source of conflict, via WSJ:
“Ice Cube wants Warner Bros., owned by AT&T Inc., to surrender its rights to the “Friday” property and to two other movies he made there–“All About the Benjamins” and “The Players Club,” according to correspondence his lawyers have sent to the studio and that The Wall Street Journal has reviewed.
Warner Bros. replied, calling the demand “extortionate” and saying it won’t release rights to the valuable franchise or any other Ice Cube movies, according to the correspondence.”
Just off reading that, it can be assumed that Cube has plans for a lot of his past hit films, possibly more sequels and even remakes like the one planned for Anaconda. On another side, IndieWire paints the picture that it really comes down to the script control of Last Friday. The outlets reports that Ice Cube envisioned a first draft that put the movie’s setting in a prison, but received pushback from studio execs that felt “prison isn’t funny” and also said, according to Cube, “felt the fans of the franchise wanted to see the characters in their familiar settings instead of behind bars for much of the movie.”
The second script Cube delivered got feedback that simply stated he was “off the mark,” leading him to see, in his own words, “the entire editing process as a way to delay getting cameras rolling.” A lawyer for the seasoned rapper/actor has reportedly wrote in a letter to the studio, criticizing the excessive notes and deeming their communication thus far “a poor steward” of the franchise. As a way of firing back, the studio says Cube’s claims are “revisionist history” and claim Last Friday has been delayed due to “[Ice Cube’s] camp’s unwillingness to engage with the studio.”
Would you watch a Friday film where Craig, Smokey and Day-Day all reunite in jail? Sound off and let us know as we wait for all this to get situated and back to entertainment.