Ice Cube reveals why Chris Tucker didn’t do ‘Next Friday’ for $12 million

Photo via New Line Cinema

There are quite a few movies in the Friday franchise. The stoner comedy was a massive success when it came out in 1995, where it grossed more than $27 million at the box office. Follow-up movies include Next FridayFriday After Next, an animated series, and the upcoming Last Friday.

However, only the first movie featured a then-newish actor named Chris Tucker, who played a character named Smokey. The film catapulted Tucker into the limelight, so it would make sense that he’d return for the sequel, right?

Unfortunately, he quit the franchise after the first film. Rapper Ice Cube, who wrote the first movie, recently took to Twitter to explain why that happened.

A Twitter user said, “I thought I heard Chris Tucker quit over money.”

“We were ready to pay Chris Tucker $10-12m to do Next Friday, but he turned us down for religious reasons. He didn’t want to cuss or smoke weed on camera anymore,” the rapper said.

Tucker himself has previously provided more insight into his thinking.

“Back then, I gotta tell you, one of the reasons why I didn’t do the second one is because of the weed,” he told Atlanta Black Star. “Because I said, ‘Man, that movie became a phenomenon. I don’t want everybody smokin’ weed.’ I never really told people this because I kinda forgot about it but it was one of the reasons why I didn’t do it. Because I said, ‘I don’t want to represent everyone smokin’ weed.’ I kinda made it more personal than a movie and that’s one of the reasons I said, ‘Nah, I don’t want to keep doing that character.’ “

Cube also revealed more about how much actors were paid for the movie. Ice Cube spoke out because comedian Faizon Love, who plays Big Worm in Friday, said he also declined to do the sequel because he was only paid $2,500 to do it.

This is the tweet that set him off.

“I didn’t rob no fuckin body. The 1995 Friday movie cost $2.3m to make. Shot it in 20 days. Fazion worked 1 day, maybe 2. All the actors got paid scale to do the movie. They could’ve simple said “No” but they didn’t. So miss me with that shit…” he fired back.

Love said he would return for a sequel despite the potential bad blood if asked.

“Now if I do it again, they talking about the last Friday then, oh yeah, I’m with it. You got a last check?” Love said. “If Cube said, ‘Faizon, there’s no money. I need you to do this.’ I would have to do it on GP because it was that character that brought me into the game heavy.”