Back in 2011 it was reported that Nick Cassavetes was gearing up to direct a biopic of the notorious former drug kingpin, Rick Ross (not the rapper, fyi). Cassavetes also penned the script, which focuses on Ross’ early days as a crack cocaine dealer in Miami. The story gets its weight from the fact that Ross was supplied by Contras who were busy fighting the Nicaraguan government at the time, and also just so happened to be funded by officials in the Reagan administration. After working on the project for a couple of years it looks like Cassavetes has finally settled on a leading man…and it’s “America’s Got Talent” presenter Nick Cannon….
Cannon announced his involvement with the film alongside Rick Ross in a YouTube video. During the video Ross spoke of how he’d wanted Cannon to play his role ever since ’96 and that “Drumline” is one of his favorite movies (really?), while Cannon proffered the following profound words: “This is history in the making right here. We family now. We gonna get this thing right however long it take. The story gotta be told: the real Rick Ross.”
And speaking with MTV, Ross stresses the bona fides of his unlikely leading man to play his doppelganger, noting that he had met with much more A-list names who are mostly associated as being Mr. Mariah Carey. “I spoke to Will Smith about the role. I had a couple meetings with Jamie Foxx about it. Larenz Tate, I was really serious about Larenz,” he said. “I spoke to Don Cheadle a couple of times about it. Columbus Short, I really, really liked Columbus Short for the role, but at the end of the day Nick’s willing to help me build the project. He’s willing to get in the trenches and roll up his sleeves and fight because I still wanna have some control.”
It’s not the most inspiring casting, and considering that Ross is somebody who will be largely unfamiliar to international audiences, it doesn’t help that the lead actor has a similarly low international profile. Maybe that’s not a big concern for Cassavetes, and maybe the priority is to bring the story to North American financing, but if the financing’s not already in place it may prove to be a stumbling block. But hey, it’s great news for anyone who always yearned to see Cannon go gangsta! [via THR]