Ice Cube and Warner Bros. are in the midst of a heated back-and-forth where the mogul accused the studio of discrimination.
Last Friday has been under development for almost ten years now and Cube and Warner Bros. executives have been exchanging “heated letters” about the fate of the movie for weeks.
The Wall Street Journal reports, “Ice Cube wants Warner Bros., owned by AT&T Inc., to surrender its rights to the “Friday” property and to two other movies he made there—“All About the Benjamins” and “The Players Club,” according to correspondence his lawyers have sent to the studio and that The Wall Street Journal has reviewed.”
IndieWire reports that Cube’s lawyer wrote in a letter that Warner Bros. was “excessive” in studio notes on the script and is a “poor steward” of the franchise.
Ice Cube originally set the first draft of “Last Friday” in a prison, but he claims “the studio told him prison isn’t funny.” Studio executives said “they felt the fans of the franchise wanted to see the characters in their familiar settings instead of behind bars for much of the movie.” Ice Cube wrote a second script but then got feedback he felt was “off the mark.” The actor said “he viewed the entire editing process as a way to delay getting cameras rolling.”
The studio described the former rapper’s request to relinquish rights to the film as “extortionate” and refuse to give in. They also said he’s the reason for the final film’s delay.
WSJ stated that Cube’s team alleged that Warner Bros. might be discriminating against him. “The possibility of discrimination has also emerged as a flashpoint in the conversations. In one letter, Ice Cube’s representative wrote that movies he has done for the studio ‘are habitually underfunded in comparison with projects featuring white casts and creative teams.’ The correspondence points to other Ice Cube films he says weren’t well supported.”
Warner Bros. fired back, saying in part to the WSJ that Cube’s sentiments were “grounded in a libelous set of knowing falsehoods,” and that they have and will continue to “support diverse voices and storytellers.”
Does it even make sense to move forward with Last Friday? Let us know what you think in the comments.