The biopic picture Straight Out of Compton, based on N.W.A. has now announced who will be playing Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and the late Eazy-E. The studio received approval from both Cube and Dre as well as E’s widow Tomika Wright.
O’Shea Jackson, Jr. will play the part of Ice Cube. A fitting move considering Cube is Jacksons’ father. Reports that Cube had been lobbying to have his 24 year old son play the role appear to have worked. For the part of Dr. Dre, Marcus Callender will take on the roll. Callender is a classically trained actor and beat out rappers who were vying for the role. For the role of Eazy-E a complete unknown has been cast. Jason Mitchell.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mitchell has been working in a kitchen and has zero acting background.
The studio has been trying to get this film made for awhile but continual snags have slowed down the process. The story about NWA is an interesting one. In fighting among the group eventually led to distrust and finally a breakup in 1994 although Ice Cube had left the gangsta rap group in 1991. While Dr. Dre and Ice Cube eventually mended their problems and found high levels of success as independent artists, that wasn’t the case for Eazy-E.
Eazy-E, who founded Ruthless Records took to the legal system in an attempt to gain money from Death Row Records where Dr. Dre had moved to. The dispute rapidly escalated with album lyrics taking jabs at each other. In 1995 Eazy was diagnosed with AIDS after a trip to the hospital with what he thought was Asthma. That was in February. He succumbed to the disease in late March and his death did not resonate well with many fans and fellow rap artists.
While Eazy had made amends with Dr. Dre shortly before his death, many felt that Eazy was in good health despite the diagnosis of AIDS. It seemed odd that he would be diagnosed in February and die a month later. It will be interesting to see if the future NWA biopic touches on his cause of death and the surrounding questions regarding it.
Today you can see Ice Cube in the feature film and top grossing movie of last weekend, 22 Jump Street.