Ice Cube is looking to regain control of his Friday movie franchise in hopes of reviving the popular film series. The rap icon and entertainment mogul recently appeared on the Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson podcast and spoke with the boxing legend and former NBA player Matt Barnes about his desire to possibly reacquire ownership of the film, which is currently distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures.
“Warner Brothers is weird right now,” Cube said of his relationship with the company. “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. It’s my movie, but they have distribution control.”
When asked if he would be interested in purchasing the rights, the 53-year-old scoffs at the suggestion, arguing that he shouldn’t be required to buy back something that he created. He also shares his belief that it’s in Warner Bros. best interest financially to comply with his demands.
“I ain’t putting sh*t up for it. F**k no,” Cube said. “They need to give it to me, and they gon’ make money. I’m not about to pay for my own stuff, that’s stupid … They need to do the right thing, get it to us, let us turn it into more money, and make the fans happy … We can do a lot with it.”
The Los Angeles native’s fight to film a fourth installment in the Friday series has been ongoing. He says he’s written two scripts for a film titled Last Friday, but claims that Warner Bros. turned down the first because “the timing wasn’t right,” while adding that the second “was in development hell” and has yet to be greenlit. He reveals that the first was set in a prison, but that Warner Bros. felt the plot was unfunny and wouldn’t connect with fans of the franchise. He then accuses the production studio of refusing his scripts in order to delay the movie from coming to fruition.
The first Friday film released in 1995 and was a runaway hit. It starred Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long, Bernie Mac, Tiny “Zeus” Lister Jr., John Witherspoon, Regina King, Faizon Love and Anna Maria Horsford. Becoming an instant classic among Black audiences, two sequels, Next Friday and Friday After Next, followed. Both were also commercially successful and introduced star talent like Mike Epps and Katt Williams to the mainstream.
While the former N.W.A. member charges that Warner Bros. has been a “poor steward” of the franchise, the conglomerate says the film’s delay has been due to Cube’s “unwillingness to engage with the studio,” according to a 2021 report by The Wall Street Journal. Warner Bros has deemed Cube’s tactics as “extortionate” and has said he will not release the rights to the Friday franchise or any of the other films of which he’s requested ownership, including All About the Benjamins and The Players Club.
Watch Ice Cube’s appearance on Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson below.