F. Gary Gray, the director of such films as Friday, Set It Off, and The Italian Job, held open casting call in April.
Danielle Henderson of The Guardian reports Ice Cube's own son, O'Shea Jackson, Jr, will be portraying the actor in “Straight Outta Compton: what can fans expect from the NWA biopic?”. Cube left the group in 1989 and has a wildly successful career in both music and movies. Outside of music, the artist found fame as an actor in such hits as Friday, Barbershop, Boyz n the Hood, and Higher Learning. Jackson, Jr, has no credits to his name, other than Straight Outta Compton.
Dr. Dre doesn't need a lot of introduction. As a music producer, he's worked with Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, Xzibt, and Kendrick Lamar. And he's credited as the key figure to West Coast G-Funk, which is rap music with a slow, heavy beats based on a synthesizer. Think 2Pac's "California Love."
Portraying Dre will be relative newcomer Corey Hawkins. The young actor's filmography lists small parts in movies like Iron Man 3, but he recently played Tybalt in Don Roy King's Romeo and Juliet.
The hardest person to cast was Eazy-E, who suddenly died in 1995 of AIDS-related pneumonia after being diagnosed only a month. “The Godfather of Gangsta Rap” died still angry at the NWA members. He Jason Mitchell was cast but seems to have no starring roles to his name so far.
As of yet DJ Yell and MC Ren haven’t been cast.
Casting unknowns is risky but has the potential to work.
Henderson reminds readers of Notorious, the 2009 biopic of rapper Biggie Small, where Jamal Woolard’s casting based on looks and anonymity offered a well-received movie. Notorious made a modest $44 milllion, and 8 Mile brought in $243 million. Of course, Eminem played himself in 8 Mile.
So what will Straight Outta Compton on? The most obvious answer would be the aggressive, street life of living in a hard area. However, where will the honesty end and begin is the question. In 1991, Pump It Up’s Dee Barnes was attacked by Dr. Dre at party when he didn’t care for her interviewing skills towards Cube a year earlier. Cube was called Benedict Arnold for leaving while implied jealousy of the other members.
How deep with the anger and fractions go?
Will it show the success after the group ended or will it deal entirely about group itself?
The audience will find out August 14, 2015. Which according to Coming Soon’s “Universal to Release N.W.A. Movie Straight Outta Compton in August 2015,” used to belong to the next Jason Bourne movie starring Jeremy Renner. The Bourne film has been moved to July 15, 2016 now.
Moving around dates will put Straight Outta Compton front and center during the summer movie season.