The first Barbershop film hit theaters back in 2002, starring Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer. The success of the first film made it easy for the studio to agree on a sequel, Barbershop 2: Back in Business, which was released in 2004.
One year later, you had the Beauty Shop spinoff, and the short-lived Barbershop TV series on Showtime. Now the film series is finally coming back with Barbershop: The Next Cut. The film is scheduled to hit theaters this Friday (April 15) but a man by the name of JD Lawrence is trying to block the release.
The writer/director is suing Warner Bros and Showtime for at least $20 million. He claims all three movies and the TV series were clearly direct copies of his stage play Scissors. He wrote the play and toured around the country with it from 1998 to 2001.
He claims the play was set in a barbershop in a black neighborhood and focused “on the shop’s importance to the community.” He also says his play had an elderly owner looking over the shop who is just like Cedric the Entertainer’s character.
“He added that both feature similar discussions about the O.J. Simpson murder trial and white barbers who get clowned for being white.”
It’s hard to see this lawsuit being successful for him. Nothing mentioned above is exactly “original” material. Sounds like the projects were similar, but it doesn’t sound like it’s a direct copy.