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Ice Cube says he was “pushed” into making ‘Next Friday’

Ice Cube has shared the story of how he was “pushed” into making Next Friday – the sequel to the iconic 1995 movie Friday.

The former NWA rapper was a guest on the latest episode of the YouTube show Mavericks with Mav Carter, where he spoke about his venture into acting and screenwriting – the latter of which came at the suggestion of director John Singleton.

Carter asked Cube if he ever felt “pushed into” something he wasn’t passionate about.

“I was pushed into doing Next Friday,” he replied, before quickly correcting himself: “Not pushed, but I always thought, ‘We did a great movie, don’t touch it.’”

He continued: “My people was like, ‘Yo, have you thought about ever doing a part two?’ And it’s like, ‘Nah.’ [They] said, ‘You should think about it; people love the movie.’ So, I’m glad I did it, because part two led to part three, led to me meeting [comedic actors] Mike Epps and Katt Williams, Terry Crews.”

However, Cube admitted that if it was up to him, he “probably wouldn’t have” made the 2000 film, especially after hearing that co-star Chris Tucker wanted no part of it either.

“But, you know, by the time I heard he didn’t wanna do it, I was invested in doing another one,” he said. “We figured out the best way to keep going.”

The West Coast rap legend concluded: “I’m grateful that I was pushed on that. That’s fine, too. As long as, at a certain point, you gotta take the reins and buy into it and go full force.”

Friday chronicles the wild adventure of unemployed friends Craig Jones (played by Cube) and Smokey (played by Chris Tucker) who become indebted to a local drug dealer and have to deal with the neighbourhood bully. Cube co-wrote the script.

The film earned positive reviews and grossed over $27million (approximately £21.3million) worldwide. It has since become a cult classic, inspiring internet memes and pop-culture references.

Next Friday was more successful at the box office, making just under $60million (approximately £47.4million). After that, two more instalments were released; Friday After Next in 2002 and Friday: The Animated Series in 2007.

However, actor-comedian Tucker declined the offer to reprise the role of Smokey. In 2021, he said it was because he “didn’t want to represent everybody smoking weed.”

Tucker has expressed interest in making a fourth Friday film, telling Audacy V-103 last year: “I love that they did two more after the one I did. If it’s possible, if it comes together right, I would try to do it. I’m a perfectionist, I’m sorry. If it ain’t gonna be great – I don’t believe in ‘some movies are good, some are not.’ Nah, I’m going all the way; I want it to be great.”

However, in 2021, Cube started the #FreeFriday movement, alleging that Warner Bros – who own the rights to the cult film – refused to allow him to make Friday another sequel.

Ice Cube has been working on Big3, the three-on-three basketball league he and Jeff Kwatinetz founded. However, he teased his return to music and is working on his 11th studio album ‘Man Down’ last September.

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