This weekend Ice Cube revisits the "Friday" franchise with "Friday After Next" while filmdom's favorite super-spy, James Bond, returns to theaters in "Die Another Day."
With diamonds, rogue Korean agents and Halle Berry in tow, "Die Another Day" arrives 40 years after the first 007 flick, "Dr. No," which featured Sean Connery in the lead role. (Click for photos from "Die Another Day.")
"It's the anniversary, and we have a director in Lee Tamahori who is ferociously passionate about filmmaking and honored this piece in a great way," said current Bond Pierce Brosnan, who praised "Die Another Day"'s willingness to tweak the 007 formula.
His co-star Berry said she sees her character, Jinx, as one of the things that sets the movie apart from past Bond films.
"She's very much like the Bond women of the past [in that] she knows how to use her sexuality, but this time out she really is Bond's equal," Berry said. "She's an assassin for her country as he is for his, and not only is he attracted to her physically, but he's attracted to her intellectually this time. And he realizes that he not only wants her, but he needs her because she sort of saves his butt a couple of times."
The movie sees Brosnan playing Bond for a fourth time — Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton and George Lazenby have also carried the license to kill — and he's agreed to a fifth. "After that," he said, "I don't know."
Cube is similarly undecided about whether he'll make a fourth "Friday" following this weekend's holiday-themed "Friday After Next," which again teams him with Mike Epps and John Witherspoon. (Click for photos from the "Friday After Next" premiere.)
"It's all about the fans, man, it's what they want," he said. "So after this one comes out, we'll let the people speak for themselves. If they want another one and I can get the players back, the veterans of the 'Friday' movies, and can think of a story ... we can do it."
Both films will go up against last weekend's box-office champ, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (see "Harry Potter's Spell Turns Eminem Into Rabbit Stew").
Moviegoers looking to steer clear of sequels this weekend can check out Kevin Kline's "The Emperor's Club," a drama about a teacher at an all-boys school attended by the sons of the rich and powerful.
Ryan J. Downey, with additional reporting by Nick Zano