After much anticipation and even more promotional hype, the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton is now playing in theaters nationwide. Directed by F. Gary Gray (Friday, The Italian Job) and penned by screenwriters Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff (World Trade Center), Straight Outta Compton chronicles the rise of the iconic rap group NWA during the mid-1980s. The group’s songs of hardship and racial prejudice in the streets of Compton prompted a national awareness to the ongoing issues still fueled by racial divides between the law and the streets, and revolutionized the hip hop genre for generations to come. Starring in the film as the members of NWA are O’Shea Jackson Jr. (as his father, Ice Cube), Corey Hawkins (Iron Man 3, Non-Stop) as Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell (Contraband, Broken City) as Eazy-E, Neil Brown Jr. (Fast & Furious, Battle Los Angeles) as DJ Yella, and Aldis Hodge (Die Hard With A Vengeance, The East) as MC Ren. Oscar-nominee Paul Giamatti (Lady in the Water, 12 Years A Slave) also appears in the film as NWA manager Jerry Heller. Reviews have been mixed thus far: some have expressed that the story is exaggerated at points, while other truths have been completely omitted from the story. But one thing that all the critics seem to agree on are the actors’ performances. As with any film adaptation of a real-life story, the plot will tend to focus on the perspective of certain members and not touch upon others, but I’m hoping, for the most part, that this will be a fairly accurate representation of the true account. Original members Dr. Dre and Ice Cube served as producers on the project. So if you don’t have any plans this weekend (and even if you do), I would make a point of seeing this one on the big screen. It’s bound to be the biggest movie release this summer. Enjoy!
We’ve been waiting for more news on this project for a while now, and with an August 14th release date slowing coming up, we finally have a full trailer for F. Gary Gray‘s upcoming biographical drama Straight Outta Compton. Based on the story of the iconic group N.W.A, the film chronicles their rise to fame from the streets of Compton, California, and how their music revolutionized popular culture as they exposed the danger and brutality of the ghetto. The film is being produced by Tomica Woods and original members Ice Cube (Friday, All About the Benjamins) and Dr. Dre, with Gray (Friday, Law Abiding Citizen) working from a script by Andrea Berloff (World Trade Center, Blood Father) and Sheldon Turner (The Longest Yard, X-Men: First Class). Making up the cast are actors O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Ice Cube, Aldis Hodge (Leverage, The East) as MC Ren, Jason Mitchell (Contraband, Broken City) as Eazy-E, Corey Hawkins (Iron Man 3, Non-Stop) as Dr. Dre, and Neil Brown Jr. (Fast and Furious, Battle Los Angeles) as DJ Yella, with Lakeith Lee Stanfield (The Purge: Anarchy, Selma) as Snoop Dogg and Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Cinderella Man) as N.W.A manager Jerry Heller. The trailer premiered during this week’s episode of Workaholics, but you can see it here on MADE if you missed out. Enjoy!
A remake of director William Wyler‘s 1959 epic Ben-Hur is currently in the works at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Paramount Pictures, and the producer’s and director Timur Bekmambetov (Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) are working hard getting the pre-production check list in order. Thus far the cast includes actors Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire, American Hustle), Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Knight), Toby Kebbell (Wrath of the Titans, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), and Nezanin Boniadi (Iron Man, The Next Three Days), with Rodrigo Santoro (Love Actually, 300: Rise of an Empire) making an appearance in the role of Jesus Christ. The story of Ben-Hur comes from the 19th-century book by Lew Wallace titled Ben Hur: A Tale of Christ, which tells the story of a Jewish prince who is betrayed by his Roman friend and sent into years of enslavement, only to regain his freedom and return to seek his vengeance. The original movie starred Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, and Stephen Boyd and won 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Heston), Best Director (Wyler), Best Cinematographer (Robert Surtees), and Best Supporting Actor (Hugh Griffith). The new movie is expected to be in theaters sometime in 2016, so we’ll be following it for a while; in the meantime you should definitely check out the original; you can find it available on both DVD and Blu-Ray disc.
We first reported that last month that a biopic about iconic rap group NWA titled Straight Outta Compton (in reference to their first album) was in the works at Universal and that O’Shea Jackson Jr. would potentially be cast to portray Ice Cube in the movie. As far as we can tell that still appears to be accurate, but now we also have news that Lakeith Lee Stanfield (Memoria, The Purge: Anarchy) has been chosen to play the role of Calvin Broadus Jr., otherwise known as Snoop Dog (or Snoop Lion as of last year), who first appeared on the rap-scene around the same time as NWA. That means he and Jackson Jr. will be joining a cast of relatively unknown actors, including Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell as Easy-E, Aldis Hodge as MC Ren, and Neil Brown Jr. as DJ Yella. Other cast members include Paul Giamatti as Jerry Heller, NWA’s manager, and Carra Patterson as Tomica Woods. The film will be directed by F. Gary Gray (Friday, The Italian Job), but this is just another project on Stanfield’s list of upcoming movies. The actor is also scheduled to appear in the upcoming Miles Davis biopic with Don Cheadle, Miles Ahead, and Oprah Winfrey’s upcoming Civil Rights drama Selma, which centers on the marches between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. Now that the cast is pretty much all in place, filming on this new biopic should begin soon, but we’ll keep an eye out for an official start and potential release date.