The Hollywood Reporter (via MTV) has details of an announcement about an upcoming N.W.A. biopic currently in development at New Line.
The film has the working title Straight Outta Compton and “will follow N.W.A (short for N—az With Attitude) from their early days in the mid-'80s through the success of their initial albums and on to their eventual breakup, which was not a friendly parting.” It's being scripted by Andrea Berloff, who wrote World Trade Center for Oliver Stone.According to IMDB, the busy Berloff is also currently working on an “Untitled Refugee Soccer Project, an “Untitled Spy Thriller,” and, most intriguingly given her hip-hop bio assignment, an “Untitled Gucci Biopic.”
Ice Cube, business partner Matt Alvarez, and Eazy-E's widow Tomika Woods are on board as co-producers. Cube of course has plenty of experience in the movie racket (see the succesful Friday and Barbershop franchises).
Still it will be intriguing to see how this trend of powerful musicians having total control over their biopics plays out in the long run. It's pretty obvious that musical biopics don't work without having access to the music itself, often tightly controlled by the musicians depicted. But as we saw with The Runaways, which was weakened in terms of storytelling and veracity by its unabashed celebration of Joan Jett and Cherie Currie (and even ghoulish Kim Fowley, who came off exactly as he had wished), this conflict of interest often has a negative impact on the product itself.
(By the way, Cube and whoever controls the rights: Fuck the YouTube Police! Allow embedding of your official video. Embedding is your friend. Here's a mirror clip:)