Ice Cube wants Warner Bros. to give up ownership of his “Friday” film franchise. The 53-year-old rapper and actor starred in and co-wrote the original 1995 movie, as well as its sequels “Next Friday” in 2000 and “Friday After Next” in 2002.
The West Coast legend opened up about the future of his comedic film series during an appearance on the “Hotboxin’ W/ Mike Tyson” podcast. Rumors about a fourth film have been circling for years, but Cube seems unsure when he’s be able to make fans laugh again.
“I don’t know. Warner Brothers is weird right now,” he told Mike Tyson. “I don’t know what they doing, they don’t know what they doing. We’d love to have it back. I think it’s gon’ be close to a time when we get it back. So, we’ll either wait for that time, or we’ll keep trying to convince them that they need to let us control the movie.” He added, “It’s my movie, but they have distribution control.”
Cube’s “Friday” franchise served as an introductory platform for comedians like Chris Tucker and Mike Epps. Other notable stars in the films include Nia Long, Regina King, and fallen actors John Witherspoon, Bernie Mac, Anthony “AJ” Johnson, and Tommy “Tiny” Lister, Jr.
Tyson asked Cube if he contemplated purchasing the rights to the franchise, and he responded, “I ain’t putting s— up for it. F— no! They need to give it to me, and they’re going to make money.”
“I’m not [going] to pay for my own stuff, that’s stupid,” he continued. “They need to do the right thing, get it to us, let us turn it into more money, and make the fans happy, and people will have a good time with the series. We can do a lot with it.”
The filmmaker mentioned that he submitted two scripts for another “Friday” movie, as previously noted. He claims they were allegedly scrapped by Warner Bros. because “the timing wasn’t right.”
“It was in development hell. They just kept giving out note after note after note, never giving you the green light,” Cube added.
Over the years, the BIG3 CEO and co-founder has relentlessly aired out his grievances against Warner Bros. He mentioned that he completed the script for the next “Friday” film in May 2019. As previously noted, it was expected to arrive on the anniversary of the original film on April 26.
“We pushing for it, we finished the script, we getting notes from the studio, and it’s going back and forth,” said the rap legend on ESPN’s “The Jump” at the time. “We’re going to get into pre-production and start hiring people. It would be nice for this to come out on the 25th anniversary.”
In March 2021, Cube accused Warner Bros. of hijacking “the happiness of his culture.” Months later in July, he requested the studio release all right to his films, as well as “All Bout the Benjamins and the ’90s classic, “The Players Club.”
At the time, The Wall Street Journal shared a report featuring excerpts from letters shared between production and Cube’s legal team. They reveal “disagreements over creative direction, accusations that neither side is engaging in a sincere manner and finger-pointing over who is causing the delays.”
Back in October, the hip-hop star blamed Warner Bros. for delaying the fourth film. He also shared his disappointment in not being able to include the original “Friday” cast members.
“They f—–d around, then John Witherspoon passed,” said Cube. “Then Deebo passed, and Ezal passed. A lot of those characters. We was gon’ go back to the hood. They just f—– it up.”