According to Wall Street,
A spat between star Ice Cube and WarnerMedia has escalated into a high-stakes blame game that threatens to permanently derail the movie “Last Friday,” the latest film planned for the long-running comedy franchise.
Over the past several weeks, the two sides have exchanged heated letters over the fate of a movie that has been in the works for nearly a decade and still isn’t close to getting done. At issue: disagreements over creative direction, accusations that neither side is engaging in a sincere manner and finger pointing over who is causing the delays.
Ice Cube, whose legal name is O’Shea Jackson, has been one of the industry’s most lucrative stars for more than two decades. Movies he has starred or co-starred in or produced have grossed more than $2 billion at the box office.
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.
Warner Bros. replied, calling the demand “extortionate” and saying it won’t release rights to the valuable franchise or any other Ice Cube movies, according to the correspondence.
One letter from Ice Cube’s lawyer said the studio has been excessive in its feedback notes on the scripts Ice Cube wrote for the latest “Friday” and contends Warner Bros. has been a “poor steward” for the franchise. “These guys don’t get me, and I don’t get them,” Ice Cube said in an interview.
In a statement, the studio called Ice Cube’s contentions “revisionist history” and said they were an attempt to unjustly obtain its intellectual property.
Studio executives say delays getting a new “Friday” movie off the ground lie with Ice Cube and what they describe as his camp’s unwillingness to engage with the studio. Executives also cite Ice Cube’s other activities, including the Big3 basketball league he operates, as a distraction slowing the process.
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; it doesn’t offer specific comparisons to projects from other filmmakers.”
We hope Ice Cube gets rights and can make this movie!