Series star Clifton Powell wants Friday 4 to happen now more than ever as a way to pay homage to late franchise actors John Witherspoon and Tommy “Tiny” Lister. Last year, Witherspoon, who played Pops in all three movies, sadly passed away at the age of 77. Earlier this month, fans of the franchise lost another favorite when Lister died at 62. Among dozens of roles in other movies and TV shows, Lister was particularly well-known for playing Deebo in the first two Friday movies.
Clifton Powell, who played Pinky in the sequels Next Friday and Friday After Next, recently spoke with TMZ about the passings of his former co-stars. When asked if there’s still a way to make Friday 4 without Pops and Deebo, Powell explained that this just fuels his desire to see another sequel getting produced in their honor.
“I think we do it in memory of those guys. People love the Friday series. They love the characters… I think we find a way to do it, because that’s what the people want to see. And we, you know, have some flashbacks, and crazy stuff in there that showcases those guys. I don’t know, I’m not Cube, I’m not the writer.”
When it comes to using digital technology to insert the late actors into the movie somehow, Powell says that would be a decision for Cube, though he’s adamant that the roles should never be recast.
“They can’t be replaced. You can’t replace John Witherspoon, he’s an iconic guy. You can’t replace big Deebo, there’s never going to be another Deebo. You can’t replace him. It’s not about replacing, it’s about giving people a chance to relive those memories again.”
Directed by F. Gary Gray and co-written by Ice Cube and DJ Pooh, Friday was released in 1995. It co-starred Cube with Chris Tucker as a pair of slackers faced with paying a notorious drug dealer on a Friday night. With the movie striking a chord with viewers and spawning a large cult following, two sequels would follow with Next Friday in 2002 and Friday After Next in 2004.
In more recent years, Cube had spoken about his plans to make Friday 4, in the spring of last year, he revealed that he had a completed script and was pushing hard for its production. Just a few months later, Witherspoon died, and Cube apologized to the late actor for failing to get the sequel made while he was still here.
“I really apologize to my friend for not getting the next Friday movie made. It’s not my fault. Some dumbass people in Hollywood, at New Line Cinema,” Cube said at Witherspoon’s celebration of life ceremony.
He added, “Gave you punks two scripts and you all didn’t want to do them. That’s the real. We was trying to make that movie for years and we couldn’t get it done, but we got the other three, and we got our memories, and we got our love.”
If the powers that be weren’t willing to fund another Friday movie when John Witherspoon and Tiny Lister were still with us, the odds don’t seem very high for Friday 4 seeing the light of day. As Cube explains, however, there will always be the original three movies. This news comes to us from TMZ.