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Friday After Next Mike Epps, John Witherspoon, and Ice Cube in a diner

It’s been almost a decade since Ice Cube started the ball rolling to try and make Last Friday, the fourth and final entry in the Friday series, into a reality. While he’s been trying his hardest, Cube has made some headway with this closing installment of the series that helped make him a movie star.

But ultimately, as it’s been noted in the past, the ultimate stumbling block is the lack of a greenlight from the film’s studio, New Line Cinema. And Ice Cube is pretty mad that Last Friday is still in a holding pattern, which has driven the actor/writer to take to social media to voice the following, frustrating update:

At this point, it’s not only upsetting that Last Friday has merely been delayed by New Line Cinema, but it’s been postponed to such an extent that a crucial cast member like the late John Witherspoon will be unable to participate.

Playing the pivotal role of Willie “Pops” Jones, the father to Ice Cube’s character, Craig Jones, Witherspoon was apparently going to be a huge participant in the story of Last Friday. But now, after the legendary comedian’s untimely passing, Cube has confirmed through Twitter that a new draft will have to be written that removes the fan favorite character, who has been seen in each film since 1995’s original Friday.

In a situation that feels very reminiscent of how it took six years to get Rush Hour 3 into theaters, only to see another potential sequel still stalled over a decade after the fact, it feels weird that out of all the studios to drag their heels in a world of trendy legacy-quels, a party like New Line that has a back catalog rich with potential candidates has moved as slowly as it has.

For comparison, it’s been almost 18 years since the last Friday sequel, Friday After Next, hit theaters. And should Last Friday finally get off the ground after its script is revised, don’t expect Ice Cube to allow a CGI stand-in for John Witherspoon to ever be used. He made that abundantly clear during a recent chat with TMZ, as he was making his way to a flight, which you can watch below:

Whenever he’s been approached about the status of Last Friday, two motivations have always been made clear by Ice Cube: he wants to complete the story of Craig Jones and his vibrant neighborhood of characters, and he feels that he owes it to his fans to do so.

A new year is dawning, and with it a new possibility for New Line Cinema to put this final sequel into motion. Whether or not we’ll see Last Friday finally get the green light in fruition in the near future is something we can’t predict. All we can do is expect the fans to make their voices heard, and for Ice Cube to keep hope alive that it can all come together quickly when and if that go-ahead has been officially given.

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