*Universal announced in 2014 that “The Best Man Wedding” would be in theaters on Friday, April 15, 2016.
Welp, that’s not happening. In fact, the third film in the “Best Man” franchise has not even started filming; and according to director Malcolm D. Lee, there’s no telling when production will star, now that its cast members have other commitments.
“There is a desire to make the movie from the studio’s perspective, from my perspective, from the actors’ perspectives, we all would like to make it happen,” Lee told The Daily News at the press junket for his new movie “Barbershop: The Next Cut,” which will coincidentally be released on April 15.
Lee said because of scheduling problems, “The Best Man Wedding” has been put on hold, at least for now.
“It’s a matter of trying to get the right time of year to do it,” he said.
An individual with knowledge of the project confirmed Thursday that the film “is currently in development” at Universal and the studio is working to resolve scheduling issues.
Lee wrote and directed “The Best Man” in 1999 and the “The Best Man Holiday” in 2013. Both releases were big successes, with the first film making $34 million domestically on a $9 million budget, according to BoxOfficeMojo. The 2013 film earned $70 million.
The two ensemble projects featured Monica Calhoun, Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Terrence Howard, Harold Perrineau, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan, Melissa De Sousa and Regina Hall.
Many of the cast members have since landed hit television shows, with Howard starring on Fox’s “Empire” and Chestnut on Fox’s “Rosewood.” Long has a co-starring role on ABC’s TV version of the John Candy movie “Uncle Buck” and Lathan has been cast in Fox’s upcoming event series “Shots Fired,” according to published reports.
While Lee said “the script is written,” he admitted it’s been difficult to find the right time to accommodate everyone’s schedule.
“Terrence and Morris, they’re both on the Fox network and Taye is on TNT, Sanaa is about to do a Fox project, Regina is doing something with Hulu. Harold is always working, no matter what,” he said.
Lee added that the team behind the film must find the right budget level that “satisfies us all as artists, because nobody got paid a ton of money to make the first one.”
While the director doesn’t know when production might start on “The Best Man Wedding,” he is hopeful fans won’t have to wait another ten plus years, like they did between parts 1 and 2.
“If it’s going to happen, it will happen before 14 years,” he said with a chuckle.