Ever since Chris Tucker stole the show with his hilarious turn as Smokey in the original Friday almost 20 years ago, fans have been clamoring for him to return to the franchise. They were given a glint of hope when Ice Cube confirmed that a fourth and final installment was in the works and that he wanted Tucker involved; and were practically sent into a tizzy when a poster with Tucker’s face and a release date for the film suddenly appeared and made its rounds around the Facebook world and Twitterverse.
Unfortunately, those fans were disappointed when that poster was proven bogus, and, during his recent chat with The Tom Joyner Morning Show, Tucker practically kicked said fans while they were down by basically saying that the chances of him reprising his classic role of the backwards-hustling pothead are very slim.
When the conversation shifted from Tucker’s well-documented tax issues to internet rumors, he said, jokingly, “You can’t keep no secrets in the internet age. ‘Hey man, I heard you doin’ another Friday?’ No I’m not!”
This jovial denial prompted Joyner to seriously ask Tucker whether he’d be returning to the franchise, and his answer was less than optimistic.
“I don’t know. … Me and Cube, we’re talkin’ about it. They’re workin’ on a script,” he replied, before driving the proverbial stake through fans’ hearts by saying, “I don’t think it’ll be as special as the first one.”
He then explained why he didn’t appear in Next Friday or Friday After Next — he was doing Money Talks, The Fifth Element and other varied movies so that he “wouldn’t be put in that box” — before grabbing the aforementioned stake and twisting it with his next quote about the chances of having him in the final Friday:
“We’ll see what happens, but I doubt it. … I don’t know if we can find that magic again.”
It has been confirmed that a fourth Rush Hour film is in the works, so Tucker obviously has no problem with sequels. Which probably means that the issue at hand here is the almighty dollar. It is unlikely that the new Friday would generate as much money as the proven cash cow that is the Rush Hour franchise, so Tucker couldn’t command the fee he’s become accustomed to receiving.
This, of course, is mere speculation, and since he didn’t totally rule it out, there is still a chance that Smokey could be back. And you know this, man.
To hear what else the funnyman had to say — including the story behind his tax situation, how he first met Michael Jackson, returning to stand-up and more — watch the full interview below.
(Friday talk begins around the 9:30 mark)