Believe it or not, there was once a time when much of mainstream America was terrified of O’Shea Jackson, better known as actor and rapper Ice Cube. During his days with the iconic late-80’s hip-hop group N.W.A. and later as a solo artist, Ice Cube became famous for his brutally honest lyrics and thug-like persona.
His successful acting career began with his co-starring role as gang-banger Doughboy in John Singleton’s brilliant 1989 debut feature, Boyz n the Hood and solidified with 1995’s stoner comedy Friday, which helped introduce the world to a motor-mouthed comedian named Chris Tucker. Cube has had an uneven run since then, with his role in American Hustle director David O. Russell’s Three Kings a stand-out among forgettable flicks like xXx: State of the Union and Are We There Yet?
Friday spawned two sequels and remains popular and well-loved by fans of its genre, but it’s been twelve years since the last entry, Friday After Next. Given Ice Cube’s scene-stealing performance in last year’s 21 Jump Street, it stands to reason that there could be a resurgence of interest in a fourth Friday movie. Yet, according to Cube himself, it may not happen anytime soon.
The next Friday movie is caught up in development hell at New Line Cinema. Pray that we get it outta there.
Ice Cube has been claiming since at least 2011 that he, Chris Tucker and the entire original cast (Cube, Tucker, Mike Epps, Terry Crews, John Witherspoon and Katt Williams) would return for a fourth movie, which could be titled Last Friday. In March of last year, Ice Cube spoke about doing another Friday movie, but his comments amounted to his desire to see the whole cast reunite, “to make it special,” rather than a hard confirmation the movie will happen anytime soon.
Despite Ice Cube’s family-friendly projects like Are We There Yet? and the TBS series with the same title starring Terry Crews, he never stopped cutting albums with personal and political messages. One fan asked why he made Are We There Yet? – rather than call him a sell-out point-blank, maybe – and Ice Cube’s response was interesting: “For my fans’ kids. I didn’t like little kids only having Friday to laugh to.”
This type of answer hints at the great deal of respect Ice Cube has for his fans, and it’s likely that bringing the Friday crew back together for (perhaps) one more go-round would be as much for them as for him. His role as Captain Dickson in 21 Jump Street (which he’ll reprise for next year’s 22 Jump Street) was one of the most entertaining things about that movie, and with this new light trained on his film career, it’s possible that Friday 4 could find its way out of development hell sooner rather than later.
Friday 4 is in development at New Line Cinemas.