During a recent interview for the Blu-ray release of Ride Along, Ice Cube gave Steve an update on the progress of the Straight Outta Compton movie. It looks like the N.W.A. biopic has been casting for the last six months and is currently scheduled to start filming this July. The scope that they’re aiming for in this picture is ambitious, as it tells the story of the iconic hip hop group’s inception in the mid 80s, and continues up until the death of founding member Eazy-E in 1995. Cube is producing the film along with fellow founder Dr. Dre; F. Gary Gray will direct. Hit the jump for more on Straight Outta Compton.
The movie Straight Outta Compton seems like a no-brainer but with the great stuff on TV right now, was there ever a debate for you thinking maybe this would be a better 4-hour miniseries or has it always been for you a 2-hour movie?
CUBE: I would love for it to be a miniseries because there’s so many nooks and crannies to the story but it’s a feature film and we’ll try to tell the story—not try, we actually will tell the story within that 2-3 hour time period.
Do you think it’s going to be filming maybe later this year?
CUBE: Yes, it will be filming this year, definitely. We’re schedule to film and start production in July.
When are you going to be announcing casting?
CUBE: We’ve been casting for six months now, so we’re still in that process of finding the right people to represent the world’s most dangerous group.
Sometimes with life stories, you show so much it’s hard to focus on one little thing. Are you aiming to tell a few years of the story or what are you going for?
CUBE: We’re telling the story from the inception of NWA to the death of Eazy-E, that’s the story.
In addition to confirmation from Cube himself about the project’s plans to shoot this summer, we also have an Atlanta casting call from last month with descriptions of the roles of the founding members (via Project Casting).
The parts of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, DJ Yella, and MC Ren are all expected to be cast. I’m not up on my gangsta rap history, but Wikipedia tells me that MC Ren didn’t join the group until 1988, which is when founding member Arabian Prince left. For information’s sake, there’s no mention of him in this casting call. Here’s a look at the roles they are casting in the film:
SEEKING: African American Males, ages 15 to mid 20s to play ICE CUBE, DR. DRE & EAZY-E
Male, late teens to late 20s, African-American. A rare and gifted artist with an incredible ear, DRE has music in his soul. A brilliant DJ with a unique style of blending music and sounds, he is a musical prodigy. Savvy, smart and cool, he is physically imposing and has a commanding presence. Focused on his music he is often laid back and easy going until something sets him off which can trigger immense anger. Born and raised in Compton. MUST BE AT LEAST 5’11
Male, mid-teens to late 20s, African-American. Smart and well educated, CUBE is self-possessed and knows he’s good at what he does. From South LA, he is responsible for most of the lyrics of the early NWA songs. An articulate rapper with uncompromising, muscular, political raps that raise rap to an incredible new level and resonates with the not only black culture but with the entire culture that surrounds him, making NWA unstoppable. A political artist who says what needs to be said, he is prolific, outspoken, intelligent, and justifiably angry; these are all combinations, which make him to be perceived as a danger and a threat. Speaks for the voiceless, he is the Hip Hop Malcolm X. MUST BE AT LEAST 5’7 AND NO TALLER THAN 6′
Male, late teens to late 20s, African-American. Short (5’3ish) but incredibly muscular, he has a fk it all attitude that’s either going to get him killed or make him famous. A street smart, drug-dealing hustler turned rapper, it is survival of the fittest for EAZY in everything he does. He is tough, dangerous and edgy – it is kill or be killed in EAZY’s world. Ruthless, brash, confident, and ambitious, EAZY is from the streets of South LA and all that goes with it. NO TALLER THAN 5’7
Male, late teens-late 20s. African-American. One of the original members of NWA, YELLA was in the group, World Class Wreckin Cru, with DRE when they left to form NWA. A producer with Dre on three of the NWA albums and EAZYs solo album, he too was born and raised on the streets of Compton and started out as a DJ. A fun guy who loved the ladies.
Male, late teens to late 20s, African-American. Born and raised in Compton, MC REN wrote lyrics and contributed vocals on all the NWA albums. A quiet, brooding, tough guy from the streets.
We’ll likely be hearing more official news in the coming months, but in the meantime, take a look at the film’s synopsis and listen to the track that gave the N.W.A biopic its title. Look for the full interview with Cube tomorrow.
NWA included drug dealer turned label founder Eazy-E, young disc jockey Dr. Dre and the politically bent Ice Cube, plus MC Ren and DJ Yella. Their 1988 groundbreaking album, “Straight Outta Compton”, introduced gangsta rap to the world and triggered sales of 9 million units. Naturally, egos and jealousies surfaced along with violence, charges of anti-Semitism, misogyny and homophobia. Eazy-E’s death from AIDS caused the ex-members to reconcile.