Bet You Didn’t Know: Secrets Behind The Making Of “Friday”
Before Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, before Pineapple Express, there was the original “high til I die” movie, Friday. Following the events of just one day in the neighborhood, we watch as Craig and Smokey sit, smoke and plot about what to do about Craig’s unemployment situation. You’ve memorized the lines, but we bet money you don’t know these secrets. Check it out.
Where did the story come from?
Ice Cube and his partner, rapper and producer, DJ Pooh wrote the script for Friday and DJ Pooh was “Red” the guy who got knocked the “fugg” out! Unfortunately, things went a bit sour with their relationship and issues with money and credit damaged their friendship. Pooh and Cube split for a minute but in 2000, the two mended their differences and Pooh says they plan to work together again.
When it came time to shoot the movie, there was no time to mess around. The movie, which cost $3.5 million to make, was filmed originally through Priority Films and then picked up by New Line Cinema after it was finished.
All in the Neighborhood
It was only fitting that up and coming director F. Gary Gray and Ice Cube would team up for their first movie. After all, Gray directed Cube’s “It Was a Good Day” video. Not only had the two worked together before, Gray was also from the South Central area. Actually, the same neighborhood where the movie was filmed, is the same neighborhood where Gray grew up. Several houses in the film were actually houses of friends of the director. The scene where Deebo punches Red, is the house Gray grew up in. We know you remember the scene, but in case you need a laugh for today, re-watch.
The role of Smokey was supposed to go to a whole lot of people, including Chris Rock and Tommy Davidson. The studio really wanted a big name for that role. But Chris Rock was doing “SNL” and Davidson was doing “In Living Color.” In an interview with Black Film.com Gray said it was a struggle to get Tucker. Obviously, it was a great choice. “It’s just like Chris Tucker with Friday, he was unknown and it was a fight to get him into Friday, but now he’s a $20 million actor, it’s that ‘it’ thing, there’s just something about him.”
You may have noticed that Friday was all about exposing the funny, less violent side of South Central. So that’s what Chris tried to bring with the now notorious line he improvised after “Red” got knocked out. In the clip below, Chris explains how he came up with the line.
You might not have noticed but Friday was the first film for Michael Clarke Duncan. He was one of the crap players in the same scene where Red gets punched out.
No I Won’t Move
You know when you film in the neighborhood, especially a black neighborhood, there will be some neighbors who won’t be so happy about the intrusion. In a flashback scene, you can see two men sitting in the background. These two men lived in the neighborhood and were either trying to get chose or just got off on being difficult. Even though the staff offered to pay them for a walk-on role, the men, knowing the crew couldn’t force them off their own property, they were content to just chill.
How did it do?
With a budget of $3.5 million Friday earned only $6.5 million during its opening weekend. Though that placed it at number 2 in the box office, that wasn’t all that impressive to studios. Friday eventually grossed $27.4 million after its box office run.
The Last Go ‘Round
We already know that there will be one more Friday, to add to the other sequels. What we don’t know is whether or not Chris Tucker will rejoin the cast. Though it’s not because people don’t want him. The fans want him and as Ice Cube told Global Grind, earlier this year, he definitely wants him on board for the project as well.
“I hope so. I got a part written in for him. It’s really about Chris. I’m not going to beg him to be in the movie, but I’m going to ask him…twice. (laughs) And hopefully he’ll do it. We’re trying to make a deal. That’s what the fans want. I want to give the fans what they want, but with or without Chris, we’re going to make you laugh. It’s a funny movie. It’s a lot of funny, new characters that pop in, mixed with a lot of the characters that we’ve known over the three movies. It’s crazy and it’s back to the basics.”
Of course we would love to see Chris reprise his role as Smokey but we’ll have to see what he said about that.
What does Chris have to say…
In an interview with Tom Joyner, Chris Tucker finally gave the real about what he thinks about Last Friday and whether or not he will be in the movie.
It sounds like he’s made up his mind but we’ll still hold out hope.
Do you want to see Chris in this role again? Do you think he should take it?