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Ice Cube Pushing For His Son To Play Him In N.W.A. Biopic + Says Film Will Be Comprehensive

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by Tambay A. Obenson
February 21, 2014 12:11 PM
7 Comments
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Updates on a project that's long been in development, which may or may not signify genuine progress...


In December, Universal Pictures hired Jonathan Herman to write the latest draft of the N.W.A. biopic that F. Gary Gray is attached to direct, with former member of the seminal rap group, Ice Cube, producing. 

Originally set up at New Line, Universal picked up the project in turnaround, with F. Gary Gray still attached to direct. John Singleton was, at one time, interested in directing.

You'll recall that both Eazy E's son and daughter claimed that they were either in the running, or would be the best fits to play their father in the movie; The son said that there was a "high probability" that he'd play the part; the daughter just wanted her shot. She even created an audition video, demonstrating her chameleon skills, which you can watch HERE.

When asked about all of that, producer Ice Cube said that no promises had been made to anyone regarding casting, and everyone was going to have to earn whatever role is given to them, whether actors or children of the real-life men of NWA who want to play their fathers.

Cube added that none of the real members of NWA will be in the film; not even in cameos apparently.

In a new interview with The Guardian, as his latest film, Ride Along, opens in the UK, Cube had a few more things to say about the upcoming project.

When asked specifically about the NWA biopic, he said:

We're getting the script tight and we're starting to cast. Hopefully we'll start shooting in April. We've had a few different writers; we're still working that out. We're going for a dramatic story that encompasses hip-hop, dope-dealing, Reaganomics, Aids, LAPD, rap feuds, FBI, PMRC, the Parental Advisory stickers on the records ... all of it.

Sounds ambitious! 

And further, when asked about rumors that his son, O'Shea Jackson Jr would be playing him in the film, Ice Cube shared:

Yes. I've been trying to get that pushed along. Just wanna make sure that he's the best man for the job.

He added that his son reminded him of himself at that age, stating:

At that age people think that I was all serious and mean, but there was a mixture of hot and cold. I could turn on a dime. And he has my temperament.

O'Shea Jackson Jr

A photo of his son, O'Shea Jackson Jr, is on the left. He looks just like his father, doesn't he?

Also worth noting, Eazy-E's widow, Tomica Woods, who inherited his share of NWA song rights, was also previously said to be involved, as a producer. This was when the project was languishing at New Line. At the time, Andrea Berloff, who wrote the screenplay to Oliver Stone's World Trade Center, was to pen the script. Jonathan Herman (whose only IMDB writing credit is for an erotic short film titled Firepussy) will write a new draft.

But here are a couple of questions for you folks: do any of you really want to see an NWA biopic? 

Fans of the group are 20+ years older now (myself included. I was in high school during the group's heydays). And, while I can't speak for others, I can say that I'm not all-that interested in seeing a film based on the the group's story. I enjoyed the music - and even occasionally still blast it from time to time; but that's good enough for me. I'm not high on seeing a film about them, and I wonder if others from my generation, who grew up with the music, feel the same way. 

I wonder who the film's target audience will be. I'd go out on a limb and say those under the age of 25 may not even be familiar enough with the group and its music, to want to pay $12 to see their lives unfold on the big screen. So what audience is this film being made for?

You tell me...

But no matter, it's good to know that the project is finally moving along, after years in limbo.


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7 Comments

  • Tito Pito | March 2, 2014 10:15 AMReply

    I'm all for for it. I love biopics, espically music ones!

  • Shanae | February 24, 2014 8:42 AMReply

    A film "that encompasses hip-hop, dope-dealing, Reaganomics, Aids, LAPD, rap feuds, FBI, PMRC, the Parental Advisory stickers on the records ... all of it" would be FANTASTIC. It is undoubtedly something that I would see in theaters and think it would make an exciting indie film. I don't see this getting greenlit by Hollywood for major theaters, but with more Black production companies surfacing - who knows? If Ice Cube is able to tap into Reganomics, PMRC, etc, then we've got the type of films that I loved in the 90s. I was skeptical about the film, but now I feel more confident in Cube's ability.

  • Daniel Harris | February 21, 2014 4:50 PMReply

    I don't go to the movies anymore so it would be a wait for me. Although I think a documentary done the same way "Welcome To Death Row" was done would be more interesting to see.

  • nweastcoaster | February 21, 2014 1:41 PMReply

    If Cube can get the tight dramatic and raw story that he's looking for with all the elements that he mentioned, I believe it would just fine for a feature film and would look forward to it. My hope is that the actors are up to playing the members of the group.

  • @JayTeeDee | February 21, 2014 12:58 PMReply

    I don't think that a movie about N***asWith Attitude would get greenlit in Hollywood for theaters especially with the topics they were pushing. But then again the Biggie biopic and the 50 Cent biopic got greenlit and the Tupac story is coming out.

  • Monique A Williams | February 21, 2014 12:31 PMReply

    Behind the Music, E True Hollywood Story, Unsung or whatever are possibly better platforms for this. Not sure I would go to the theater to watch an NWA long-form film. Even a VH1 original movie a la TLC would be ok.

  • ChgoSista | February 21, 2014 1:33 PM

    Monique--you beat me to it: "Even a VH1 original movie a la TLC would be ok."

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