F Gary Gray in talks to direct NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

Law Abiding Citizen director has reportedly been recruited by producer and ex-NWA member Ice Cube to direct the story of the legendary rap group

Law Abiding Citizen's F Gary Gray looks set to take charge of the forthcoming NWA biopic, Straight Outta Compton, about the pioneering LA hip-hop outfit.

Deadline reports that Gray has been recruited by producer Ice Cube, one of the group's best-known members alongside Dr Dre, Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella. NWA were active between 1986 and 1991, a period in which rap evolved from the block party sound of the early 1980s into the more aggressive gangster rap. They were one of Los Angeles' earliest successful rap groups and are widely considered one of the most important outfits in the history of hip-hop.

The story of NWA offers plenty of material for Hollywood to draw upon. Ice Cube departed the band in 1989 in a dispute over royalties, launching a successful solo career as producer Dr Dre turned NWA in a pioneering G-funk direction. Both parties proceeded to attack each other on record, in what became one of the most infamous hip-hop "beefs" of all time. When the later incarnation of NWA split in 1991, Dr Dre and Eazy-E also began to attack each other on record. Arguments between former NWA members largely ceased following the Aids-related death of Eazy-E in 1995, with Dr Dre and Ice Cube even recording the hit song Natural Born Killaz for Snoop Doggy Dogg's 1994 short film and touring together. However, despite several songs being recorded, a touted comeback NWA lineup featuring Dre, Cube, MC Ren, Snoop Dogg and Eminem never materialised.

Straight Outta Compton is the title of NWA's debut 1988 album. John Singleton, of Boyz n the Hood fame, was originally set to direct but is no longer involved. No casting details have yet been released, but there have been rumours that Eazy-E's son Lil Eazy-E is in line to play his father. Gray has also worked with Ice Cube on a number of his music videos and directed him in the comedy Friday at the age of just 24. His other films include The Negotiator, Be Cool and the 2003 remake of The Italian Job.


Ben Child

The GuardianTramp

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