In the works since 2009, and moving at a snail’s pace, the long developing N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton” is one of the musical biopic projects — like movies about James Brown, Frank Sinatra or Tupac Shakur — that get a bit of heat every now and then, only to go back to the sidelines. Having to snag music rights, life rights and more, all while pleasing various estates and family members, is a complicated business, so excuse us if we’re taking this coolly.
Anyway, The Wrap says that Universal is in negotiations to pick up the movie, which landed F. Gary Gray to direct this spring, as it’s now reportedly in turnaround from New Line. Ice Cube is one of the producers on the movie about his former group, and it should be noted he also stars in Universal‘s “Ride Along,” which they also just snapped up from New Line. That said, as much as they are legends in gangsta rap circles, we wonder if this is something a major studio really wants to take on given its limited appeal, especially after seeing recent niche fare like RZA‘s “The Man With Iron Fists” — which arguably plays to the same audience — fall flat when it hit theaters. Perhaps if it’s done on a very lean budget? Maybe Andrea Berloff‘s (“World Trade Center“) script has some elements that will play to wider crowd?
In short? We’ll see. But don’t be surprised if it’s another long time before you hear anything about this again.