A spat amongst star Ice Dice and WarnerMedia has escalated into a substantial-stakes blame sport that threatens to completely derail the movie “Past Friday,” the hottest movie planned for the extended-operating comedy franchise.
Over the past several weeks, the two sides have exchanged heated letters above the destiny of a movie that has been in the works for just about a ten years and still isn’t near to acquiring performed. At situation: disagreements above imaginative course, accusations that neither aspect is engaging in a sincere method and finger pointing around who is producing the delays.
Ice Dice, whose legal title is O’Shea Jackson, has been a single of the industry’s most rewarding stars for more than two a long time. Movies he has starred or co-starred in or manufactured have grossed far more than $2 billion at the box office.
Ice Cube would like Warner Bros., owned by AT&T Inc., T .41% to surrender its rights to the “Friday” property and to two other films he designed there—”All About the Benjamins” and “The Gamers Club,” according to correspondence his legal professionals have sent to the studio and that The Wall Road Journal has reviewed.
Warner Bros. replied, calling the need “extortionate” and expressing it will not launch rights to the valuable franchise or any other Ice Dice motion pictures, in accordance to the correspondence.
A person letter from Ice Cube’s lawyer mentioned the studio has been extreme in its suggestions notes on the scripts Ice Cube wrote for the latest “Friday” and contends Warner Bros. has been a “poor steward” for the franchise. “These men never get me, and I don’t get them,” Ice Dice reported in an interview.
In a assertion, the studio called Ice Cube’s contentions “revisionist heritage” and stated they ended up an endeavor to unjustly receive its mental assets.
Studio executives say delays receiving a new “Friday” motion picture off the floor lie with Ice Dice and what they explain as his camp’s unwillingness to engage with the studio. Executives also cite Ice Cube’s other pursuits, like the Big3 basketball league he operates, as a distraction slowing the approach.
The possibility of discrimination has also emerged as a flashpoint in the discussions. In one letter, Ice Cube’s representative wrote that movies he has performed for the studio “are habitually underfunded in comparison with tasks showcasing white casts and imaginative groups.” The correspondence points to other Ice Cube films he says weren’t very well supported it does not offer certain comparisons to initiatives from other filmmakers.
Warner Bros. denies it has discriminated from Ice Cube or that it gave quick shrift to any of his tasks. In a letter despatched in May well to Ice Cube’s lawyer Bryan Freedman, the studio stated the complaints are “grounded in a libelous established of realizing falsehoods.”
“We strongly disagree with any promises of discriminatory treatment method, and stand by our ongoing and confirmed dedication to guidance assorted voices and storytellers and will carry on to do so as we go forward,” a Warner Bros. spokeswoman said.
Ice Cube isn’t a stranger to controversy. Previous year, he posted memes on Twitter that some identified as anti-Semitic. As a rapper, he has been accused of misogyny in his lyrics. As a result of his spokesman, Ice Cube declined to remark.
Ice Cube began his vocation in the 1990s in the rap band N.W.A. and went on to act, starring in hit comedies these kinds of as the “Friday” franchise. He also starred in dramas this sort of as “Boyz in the Hood,” which grossed $57.5 million and was critically acclaimed for how it depicted a tale of lifetime, violence and poverty in the Crenshaw neighborhood of Los Angeles.
“Friday” came out in 1995, and was a strike about two close friends, performed by Ice Cube and Chris Tucker, who move the working day having in and out of hassle in South Central Los Angeles. The film charge only $10 million to make and grossed $28 million close to the world. It spawned two sequels—”Future Friday,” which value $11 million and manufactured $60 million in worldwide box office environment, and “Friday Immediately after Upcoming,” which had a similar spending budget and made $33.5 million at the box office. All three films have also experienced sturdy afterlives on tv.
Ice Cube and Warner Bros. device New Line Cinema signed an settlement to make “Previous Friday” in 2012. Ice Dice is to be compensated more than $11 million by New Line Cinema for performing and making in “Last Friday,” which would make him just one of the studio’s maximum paid abilities, persons familiar with the make any difference reported.
Ice Cube’s initial script was partially set in a jail and he mentioned went via a number of rewrites, but it finally did not move ahead. He stated the studio advised him jail isn’t funny. Warner Bros. executives counter that they felt the supporters of the franchise wanted to see the people in their acquainted configurations as a substitute of powering bars for much of the film.
He wrote a second script and mentioned the opinions he obtained was off the mark and that he felt hesitant to progress. He inevitably took some of the proposed edits but reported some ended up avoidable supplied his history with the franchise. He stated he seen the complete enhancing system as a way to hold off acquiring cameras rolling. “We’re right there at the complete line, and they really do not pull the set off,” he mentioned.
“For virtually a 10 years we have expressed unwavering guidance for a Friday sequel, even as the yrs passed among the two scripts he was enlisted to produce for the Friday franchise thanks to his personal delays,” the company explained.
E-mail concerning Ice Dice, his manager and New Line in 2019 recommend conversations have been pleasant and individuals ended up aligned on the second script. Folks shut to Ice Dice said the tone did not mirror their growing distrust of the system.
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Long gestation periods amongst advancement and production to theatrical launch often transpire in the enjoyment industry, but a ten years is severe for an recognized franchise. During the method, two essential solid customers died. One particular of the cast users who died—John Witherspoon—was to be showcased prominently in the most recent model of the script.
Ice Dice has cited in correspondence with Warner Bros. and in an interview activities on other jobs that began with Warner Bros, these as “Straight Outta Compton” and “Experience Together,” as negative.
In the circumstance of “Straight Outta Compton,” the 2015 biopic about the rise of N.W.A., New Line would only make the film for significantly less than $15 million, he reported in an job interview. Ice Cube was instructed it was a specialized niche film that wouldn’t have wide accomplishment or do well overseas, he included. Comcast Corp.’s Common Photos, which ended up producing the film, put in virtually $30 million, and the movie produced additional than $200 million in world-wide box office environment.
With “Trip Along,” starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, Ice Cube reported he was instructed by Warner Bros. executives that an action film with two Black stars would not do very well, particularly abroad. Yet again, Common produced it in 2014 for $25 million, and it built $135 million in U.S. box workplace and one more $20 million abroad as well as a effective sequel.
Warner and New Line executives claimed they spent decades establishing “Straight Outta Compton” but there was disagreement about its possible inside of the firm at the time. Out of respect for Ice Dice, the executives stated, they persuaded the firm to permit the film be created elsewhere rather of keeping it stuck in limbo.
With regards to “Experience Together,” a studio government reported while there ended up disagreements about the script, the idea that there ended up concerns about how a movie with two Black qualified prospects would conduct is untrue. The government cited motion pictures it manufactured right before and given that with Black leads together with “Shaft” and “Keanu.”
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Warner Bros. even now benefited from the results of Ice Cube’s films as it negotiated for a proportion of the films’ gross profits in return for their release.
In spite of the poor blood, Warner Bros. reported it is eager to place this controversy powering them and resume do the job with Ice Dice and make “Very last Friday.”
Ice Dice suggests he would like “Last Friday.” “I’m heading to go someplace else and make a strike and embarrass them,” he reported.