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NEXT FRIDAY

About The Production
Both Friday and Next Friday might be dubbed "A Day in the Life” set to an urban beat. Both deal with young men placed in harm's way by hostile forces, but who have the street-smarts and the comic buoyancy to face these challenges head on. "Friday became something of an urban phenomenon,” says Michael DeLuca, president and chief operating officer of New Line Productions. "Its longevity in the video and soundtrack marketplace are extraordinary, and we believe that Ice Cube and Steve Carr can replicate that success.” Carr calls Next Friday a "fish out of water” story that places Craig in the unfamiliar surroundings of suburbia, but far from providing safe harbor from the inner city, the ‘burbs can prove an equally heady test of survival. "I think that what makes this film different from the first one is that it's a much more mature script and the humor will come out of this fish-out-of-water dynamic and how Ice Cube reacts to his situation,” says Carr.

Co-producer Matt Alvarez says the filmmakers will attempt the same deft balance between depicting the harsh realities of society while maintaining a comic sensibility. "It's a social comedy,” says Alvarez. The first Friday earned $28 million at the domestic box office, quite a feat considering its budget was approximately $2.4 million.

Friday not only proved a hit in the theaters but took on a second life on VCRs across America, hovering in the video best-seller list for approximately 100 weeks, with more than 600,000 cassettes sold to date. With soundtrack unit sales in the 2.2 million range, the ancillary success of Friday provided as much of an inspiration as the picture's theatrical success for the producers of Next Friday. "This wasn't a classic franchise, and Ice Cube didn't want to do it," adds DeLuca of the sequel. "But there was a real crossover in video that nobody expected and we couldn't ignore the phenomenon." Just as Friday provided a springboard for the feature film careers of rap video director F. Gary Gray, who went on to helm such pictures as Set It Off, The Negotiator and the upcoming sequel, The Nutty Professor II, as well as Chris Tucker, whose follow-up roles in The Fifth Element, Money Talks and Rush Hour have made him the big screen's hottest new comedian, Next Friday gives director Steve Carr the opportunity to match his virtuosity as a hip-hop video director on a theatrical feature.

Next Friday gives director Steve Carr the opportunity to match his virtuosity as a hip-hop video director on a theatrical feature.

Michael Gruber, a 14-year veteran of the William Morris Agency and Ice Cube's long-time agent, is making his first foray into production as executive producer of Next Friday. Gruber, who was instrumental in making the first Friday happen, says the sequel represents a mandate between New Line, Cubevision and the filmmakers to increase the number of films that reflect the African American experience. "The popularity of black culture, especially with the explosion of hip-hop and the increasing abundance of positive role models cries out for more representation in films that appeal to all audiences. Next Friday is just the tip of the iceberg."

Just as Friday provided a springboard for the feature film careers of rap video director F. Gary Gray, who went on to helm such pictures as Set It Off, The Negotiator and the upcoming sequel, The Nutty Professor II, as well as Chris Tucker, whose follow-up roles in The Fifth Element, Money Talks and Rush Hour have made h

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