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Updates On "Traffic"-Like Biopic On Life Of Notorious 1980s Drug Dealer "Freeway" Rick Ross

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act March 2, 2012 at 10:11AM

First a quick recap...
1
Ross

First a quick recap...

Just over a year ago, Nick Cassavetes (son of indie film trailblazer John Cassavetes) signed on to direct a biopic about notorious 1980s drug dealer Rick Ross (not the rapper).

The film will reportedly explore Ross's ingenious and complex scheme of the crack cocaine trade in Los Angeles during the early 80s - the height of his success - moving 100 kilograms of cocaine daily, which was distributed across the country - product that he claims was supplied by Nicaraguan rebels/Contras.

Naturally, we can expect some mention of the Iran-Contra affair of the late 1980s.

"My brother was a mercenary. He worked in Central America training the Contras, so in a way the story is personal to me... The fact that our government may have been complicit in destroying an entire community of people makes the story personal for everyone," Cassavetes said last year.

And further... "if I had to compare this movie to another that's been made in terms of a feeling, a point of view, maybe 'Traffic'," of course referring to Steven Soderbergh's Oscar-winning 2000 film that explored the illegal drug trade from several different POVs.

Ross said the film would focus mostly on his adult life, though not including the 20 years he spent behind bars.

"We become addicted to the power, the money, the manipulation, the whole lifestyle, the whole drug culture... And you are going to get to see this in the movie, how a guy goes from being a novice to being a drug expert," Ross said.

At the time of that last post in February 2011, no actors had signed on to star in the film, though Ross said he had talked directly to Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Wahlberg about acting in or producing the movie.

Fast-forward to yesterday, March 1st 2012, in an interview with AOL's The BoomBox, the biopic project was discussed, with Ross saying that he's in talks with Mark Wahlberg (although, I should point out that he said the same thing a year ago), Ryan Gosling (news to me) and Jamie Foxx (also news to me) to star in the film. Ross says that Foxx is "very interested" in starring, and that he (Foxx) thinks the film could be an "Academy Award-type movie."

"Jamie Foxx called me two or three months ago and told me how much he loved the script, how much he loved the story, and the things I'm doing right now with my life... [He said] that he wanted to play my role, that he thought that the movie is going to do phenomenal. He thinks it's going to be an Academy Award-type movie. What we're trying to do right now is get Jamie signed on, get a white actor signed up for Gary Webb, and also get a Hispanic actor signed on, maybe Javier Bardem or somebody of that caliber."

Gary Webb being the investigative reporter who broke Ross' story and connection to the CIA, and who later commited suicide. 

"There's been a few names thrown out... I met with Mark Wahlberg before, he's still somebody that we would like, even though we don't know if we'd be able to tie him in. Ryan Gosling was another person that we like. I met with Ryan. Philip Seymour Hoffman is somebody else. We're going to let the casting agent really pick which one we're going with," Ross added.

As far as I can tell, Nick Cassevetes is still involved in the project.

A BET piece from November 2011 said that Snoop Dogg has been secured to compose the film's soundtrack.

I’m doing it independent, I turned down all the big wigs in Hollywood because I’m different from most people. I’m my own man I don’t really take orders... they told me I couldn’t do it the way I’m doing it right now... They told me that Nick Cassavetes wouldn’t write it, that he wouldn’t direct it. [But] he wrote the script and he’s slated to direct it. And now I’m gonna get Jamie Foxx to play my role," he also told BET.

AOL/BoomBox says the project is still trying to raise funds for its budget.

Stay tuned...

This article is related to: casting


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