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It's been some time since we heard any word of Ice Cube's next Friday movie. While fans have been eagerly awaiting another installment, which Ice Cube has teased on more than one occasion, no headway has been made.
Ice Cube even joked about bringing back Chris Tucker to play Smokey — who turned out to be a fan favorite character in the original, yet failed to return for Next Friday or Friday After Next. Tucker made this statement last year in regards to returning. ("I don’t know if we can do another one.") Yet a new #Friday movie might actually be happening.
In an interview with the Power 95.3's GetUp Crew, John Witherspoon spilled the beans on the next Friday movie going into production soon.
According to Witherspoon, he briefly ran into Ice Cube at the airport this past week and the two actors talked about a meeting for the Friday sequel. Apparently, Cube wanted to have a sit-down with Witherspoon to discuss the next installment. Witherspoon even thanks Warner Bros. for making this happen, but until he's got a signed deal, that might not be a total confirmation of the movie's green light. (The Friday movies come from New Line, which is a subsidiary of WB.)
With this reveal, we have a ton of questions that need to be answered. Here are the four we want answered in the next, next, next Friday movie.
Where is Smokey?
Smokey's whereabouts revealed that he landed in rehab in Next Friday, but fans have been skeptical of that shtick being the end of Smokey's story. There's been a longstanding rumor online that Smokey was released from rehab between the events of Next Friday and Friday After Next and is still hanging around the hood as a bad drug dealer, working for Big Worm (Faizon Love).
The other longstanding theory is that Smokey got his act together and never returned to their ghetto after rehab. It's probably not what fans of the Friday movies want to hear, but it sounds like a good close to the character who appeared quite desperate at the end of Friday (well, desperate enough to check himself into rehab for marijuana use). However, John Witherspoon gave a more sound reasoning as to why Chris Tucker rather than Smokey didn't return for the following movies.
Now, Witherspoon doesn't directly say that's why Tucker didn't return, but he made the point clear that Tucker was making million-dollar movies like Rush Hour, implying that Tucker wouldn't return for the small payday of another Friday movie, regardless of how reasonable Ice Cube's proposal would have been.
Hopefully, things change this time around and Ice Cube is able to convince Warner Bros. to cough up the extra cash to get Tucker back in the franchise. Tucker's return wouldn't only please fans, it would likely benefit the studio more than Tucker himself, allowing the studio to rebuild the Friday movie franchise around Tucker and Cube's iconic characters from the original. Moreover, being the most recognized faces of the brand, Warner Bros. would have plenty to build off of already.
Will Deebo get out of prison, again?
Apart from Smokey, there's another character fans have been wanting to see make a return: Deebo. The ever popular Deebo, played by Tommy "Tiny" Lister, has also been rumored to reprise his role as well. Lister made his debut in the first Friday movie as the neighborhood bully Deebo, who eventually got "knocked the fuck out" by Ice Cube's character, Craig Jones.
Deebo was seen again briefly in Next Friday but got carted off to prison in the end. We expect Deebo to be in jail during the next movie, but in Deebo-like fashion, it wouldn't be too surprising to see him break out once again. Who knows, he might even bring along the vatos who Craig and Day-Day got arrested in Next Friday. That scenario would tie together that loose end. After all, it does seem like it's quite easy to break out of prison in the Friday universe.
What ever happened to Craig's sister?
One of the most obvious but unasked questions is: Where did Craig's sister go after Friday? Dana (Regina King) was a supporting character in the original but didn't show up in Next Friday or Friday After Next. One could attribute her absence in Next Friday to the location being set in Rancho Cucamonga, but what about Friday After Next?
The Jones family were all together working at their barbecue restaurant and even got together at Craig's apartment for a Christmas celebration, but Dana was nowhere to be seen. Some have speculated that Dana went off to college but any reasonable person would assume she'd come by during Christmas, unless something tragic happened to Dana off camera. For now, we can only guess why Dana was left out of the Friday movies.
Regardless of the past, Regina King could show up in the following installment. Considering how the movie has Warner Bros. and Ice Cube backing its development, King will probably want to consider returning, if not only for the payday.
Where would the story go after 'Friday After Next'?
We don't know whether or not Chris Tucker will return to play Smokey, so let's assume the next movie will pick up sometime after the events of Friday After Next.
At the conclusion of that movie, Craig and Day-Day were finally able to pay their rent for the month so we can assume they'll be involved in more hijinks in the following installment. They've already meddled with several of the hoodlums around their neighborhood so they might make a move to a safer location.
Each of the prior Friday movies have seen the central cast relocate to adjacent cities, making it plausible for them to move once again. If this sequel is going to draw the series to a close, then it makes sense for them to end where they began, in south central Los Angeles.
Going back to their old home, with Craig and Day-Day possibly being forced to share a room, would guarantee some hilarious antics between the two. Then again, with Cube's character Craig as more of a bachelor now, he may be given the house by his father and wind up in more hijinks by returning to the neighborhood. That scenario would bring us back to the hood and find out if Craig's crotchety neighbor Stanley ever moved out, which so many fans have asked over the years.