The long-in-development N.W.A. biopic Straight Out of Compton finally started showing some forward progress with the recent casting of Ice Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson Jr., to play the teenage version of his father, and now two more relative unknowns have joined the movie as Cube’s partners in rhyme. Dr. Dre will be played by Marcus Callendar while the late Eazy E will be played by Jason Mitchell.
Beating out many other actors and rappers for the role of Dre, Marcus Callendar is a theater actor from New York’s Shakespeare Lab at the Public Theater who has appeared on HBO’s “Criminal Justice” with small roles on “Blue Bloods” and “Elementary.” The New Orleans-based Jason Mitchell has had small roles in Mark Wahlberg’s movies Contraband and Broken City.
As with all aspects of the movie, the casting has been approved by Cube, Dre and Eazy E’s widow Tomica Wright.
The film seems to be moving forward quickly after numerous screenwriters and directors have shown interest in the project over the years, but it looks ready for The Italian Job director F. Gary Gray to start production in a couple of months based on the most recent script by Jonathan Herman. In the last year, Universal Pictures came on board to distribute the project that was put into turnaround by New Line, with plans to presumably release it sometime in 2015. (N.W.A.’s debut album on which the movie’s title is based celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2013.)