Paul Giamatti has joined the cast of Universal’s N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton playing music manager Jerry Heller for director F. Gary Gray. I also never reported on the casting of Neil Brown Jr. as DJ Yella and Aldis Hodge as MC Ren, two names that weren’t included in the original casting announcement which actually had me scratching my head a little since I personally appreciated the work of both those guys when I used to listen to a lot of N.W.A. and to think the group was merely Eazy, Cube and Dre would have been a bit dismissive.
As for Heller, before co-founding Ruthless Records with Eazy-E he worked with the likes of Pink Floyd and Elton John and was later seen as one of the reasons N.W.A. ultimately broke up, favoring Eazy over the other members of the group.
The film has been set for an August 14, 2015 release, here’s the official synopsis once again:
In the mid-1980s, the streets of Compton, California, were some of the most dangerous in the country. When five young men translated their experiences growing up into brutally honest music that rebelled against abusive authority, they gave an explosive voice to a silenced generation. Following the meteoric rise and fall of N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton tells the astonishing story of how these youngsters revolutionized music and pop culture forever the moment they told the world the truth about life in the hood and ignited a cultural war.
Starring O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell as Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-E, Straight Outta Compton is directed by F. Gary Gray (Friday, Set It Off, The Italian Job). The drama is produced by original N.W.A. members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, who are joined by fellow producers Matt Alvarez and Tomica Woods-Wright. Will Packer serves as executive producer of the film alongside Gray.