Andrea Berloff – who co-wrote director Oliver Stone’s 2006 9/11 drama World Trade Center – has been hired by New Line Cinema to write the script for Straight Outta Compton, the true-life story of the infamous rap music group, N.W.A.
N.W.A. was a group formed in Compton, California, by late rapper Eazy-E in the 1980s. The band eventually counted amongst its ranks such individuals as Dr. Dre, MC Ren, and rapper-turned-actor Ice Cube.
The group released their innovative Straight Outta Compton album in 1988 amidst a sea of public controversy over their title track “F— the Police” – amongst other issues. The album eventually sold over 9 million copies and became the standard for future “gangsta rap” records.
The band – which attracted accusations of anti-Semitism, homophobia, misogyny, and pro-violence from its critics – broke up in the early 1990s following internal fighting over royalty disputes and related personal issues. Following the tragic AIDS-related death of founder Eazy E, the group members eventually reconciled in public over their troubled past together.
Naturally, Ice Cube himself will be producing Straight Outta Compton, alongside his Cube Vision partner Matt Alvarez, Eazy-E’s widow Tomica Woods, and New Line executives Michelle Weiss and Dave Neustadter.
Cube has all but abandoned his “street thug” persona over the past decade, with turns in the Barbershop films, two sequels to his 1995 hit stoner comedy Friday, and the family-friendly Are We There Yet? and its sequel Are We Done Yet? – indeed, his last performance as a tough guy/action star was in the 2005 flop xXx: State of the Union.
Will the N.W.A. biopic resuscitate Ice Cube’s image as a politically-charged gangster? Given that he’s also working on a TV series based on his Are We There Yet? films, I wouldn’t count on it.
However, you can expect Straight Outta Compton to follow the standard “humble beginnings/rise to fame/fall from grace” plot arc of most Hollywood music industry biopics – it’s a story seen most recently in this year’s true-life project about the “first all-girls rock band” The Runaways (which featured The Twilight Saga costars Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart).
Music industry biopics have been around in some form since 1942’s Yankee Doodle Dandy and the genre has seen its share of highs (Ray), lows (Beyond the Sea), and even parodies (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story) over the last decade. Whether Berloff can craft a screenplay that transcends the clichés of the genre remains to be seen.
So – are you intrigued by the idea of an N.W.A. biopic?
We’ll keep an eye out for future news regarding the development of Straight Outta Compton, including information about any potential stars or directors.
Source: THR (via Coming Soon)