Pointing the finger at Hollywood and New Line Cinema, Ice Cube apologized to John Witherspoon for failing to get Last Friday made before his passing. Previously, Ice Cube had announced his plans to make the fourth Friday movie, saying back in June that the sequel was coming and he had hopes to release it by 2020.
Speaking at John Witherspoon's celebration of life ceremony, Ice Cube offered his apologies to the late comedy legend, placing the blame on the folks at New Line Cinema. Here's what the Friday franchise star said about Last Friday.
"I really apologize to my friend for not getting the next Friday movie made. It's not my fault. Some dumbass people in Hollywood, at New Line Cinema."
Ice Cube goes on to clarify the status of Last Friday and how the planned sequel has apparently died in development hell, long before John Witherspoon passed away. According to Ice Cube, he had submitted two different scripts for the movie, but New Line heads Toby Emmerich and Richer Brener just wouldn't give the project the green light. Even so, Ice Cube makes it clear he appreciates the previous work he had done on the Friday trilogy with Witherspoon along with the memories that came with each experience. This is how he explains it.
"Gave you punks two scripts and you all didn't want to do them. That's the real. We was trying to make that movie for years and we couldn't get it done, but we got the other three, and we got our memories, and we got our love."
Also during his speech, Ice Cube spoke about how Witherspoon's casting in Friday came to be. From the start, the rapper-turned-filmmaker had developed the movie with Witherspoon in mind to play his character's father as he was such a big fan of his comedy work. As luck would have it, Witherspoon accepted the role when offered, giving us the perfect casting the Friday movies have become known for. Here's what Ice Cube said about bringing in Witherspoon for the original movie.
"John Witherspoon - I'm writing Friday [and] he's in my head as my father. The reason that I wanted him to be my father in that movie is because he reminds me of my real father, but my real father isn't as funny. So, he reminded me of my real father, and I knew if we got John Witherspoon - this was before we decided to go with Chris Tucker - we knew if we got John Witherspoon in the movie, the movie would be funny no matter who else we got in it, and when he said 'yeah,' it was one of the happiest moments that we had making the movie."
The first Friday movie was released in 1995, with Ice Cube starring alongside Chris Tucker in a story about one crazy Friday night in a South Central Los Angeles neighborhood. After establishing itself as a comedy classic and garnering a cult following, the follow-up films Next Friday and Friday After Next would be released in 2000 and 2002 with Ice Cube reprising the role of Craig Jones in all three installments. Also appearing in each movie in the trilogy is John Witherspoon as Craig's father Willie. As suggested above, Witherspoon's role is perhaps the funniest aspect of each of the three movies, making him a beloved favorite for fans of the franchise.
There apparently isn't going to be a Last Friday after all, as Ice Cube's comments have revealed. Certainly, no sequel to the trilogy would ever be the same without Witherspoon's presence as he was such an important part of every previous movie. Clearly, he is very missed. This news comes to us from Hip Hollywood, and you can watch the full clip of Ice Cube's speech below.