Actors Aldis Hodge and Neil Brown, Jr. have been added to the cast of the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. Hodge will play MC Ren, while Brown Jr. will portray DJ Yella in the film, which will also feature Ice Cube's son O'Shea Jackson, Jr. as the MC, Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre and Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E.
F. Gary Gray will direct the film about the Compton, California rappers' rise to fame in the late 1980s, and their subsequent split in 1991.
The movie is scheduled to hit theatres in August, 2015.
Rapper/actor Ice Cube has opened up about his controversial decision not to cast the late Eazy-E's son as the hip-hop icon in his forthcoming N.W.A. biopic, insisting the role required an experienced actor with "a lot of range". Eazy-E's son, Eric Wright, Jr., auditioned for the Straight Outta Compton film job and recently admitted he was disappointed after movie bosses decided to cast newcomer Jason Mitchell as the younger version of his tragic father.
Now Ice Cube, who is serving as one of the project's producers, has explained the reasons behind the decision, insisting aspiring actor Wright, Jr. simply wasn't a good fit.
Speaking to Colorado radio station KS 107.5, Ice Cube says, "He (Wright, Jr.) is an up-and-coming actor trying to do it, but we needed somebody who was a little more polished to play Eazy, because he goes through a lot in his life. He goes from selling dope in Compton to fighting for his life in a hospital bed. So we needed to find an actor with a lot of range. And we just couldn't use just anybody. We gave him (Wright, Jr.) a shot, and it just didn't work out."
Wright, Jr. wasn't the only N.W.A. offspring snubbed for a role in the film - Dr. Dre's aspiring actor/rapper son Curtis Young was also passed over in favour of Corey Hawkins, although Ice Cube's kid, O'Shea Jackson, Jr., will play his dad onscreen.
Meanwhile, the remaining N.W.A. bandmates MC Ren and DJ Yella will be played by Aldis Hodge and Neil Brown, Jr., respectively.
F. Gary Gray will direct the film about the rise of the iconic California rap group and their split in 1991.
The biopic is scheduled for release next summer (15).
Eazy-E's son has cleared up reports suggesting he was upset he was not cast as his father in the N.W.A. biopic, insisting actor Jason Mitchell has his full support. Eric Wright, Jr. insists comments attributed to him about his disappointment over not winning the role in Straight Outta Compton were taken out of context - and he's not mad that Ice Cube cast his own son to play a younger version of himself, while overlooking him.
He tells RollingStone.com, "I'm not upset about (the casting). What (Ice) Cube did was a great thing and (he's) a loving father... Besides my father, that's the person I was inspired by; that's like an idol to me."
Wright, Jr. goes on to explain he has made himself available to Mitchell, who will portray his late father, in a bid to help him perfect the role.
He continues, "Jason has come to my grandmother's house, where I was born and raised, where my father was born and raised and where N.W.A started. I reached out to him to give him the support and any advice he needs. He has a big burden on his shoulders, to bring forth the character and legacy of my father and the legacy of N.W.A, period."
Eazy-E's son is feeling disappointed after he was left out of the cast of upcoming N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. Lil' Eazy-E, real name Eric Wright, Jr., had hoped movie bosses would let him play his late father in the new movie about the legendary hip-hop group, but newcomer Jason Mitchell has been given the role instead.
The 30 year old tells TMZ.com he is disappointed with the decision, adding, "I am my father. I look like him. I sound like him."
Ice Cube's son O'Shea Jackson Jr. will portray his own father in the film, but Dr. Dre's son Curtis Young also faced disappointment when the role of his dad was given to actor Marcus Callender.
Wright, Jr., who was just 11 years old when his rapper father died from an AIDS-related illness in 1995, previously said of the movie role, "I'm the perfect man for the role. Who better to play him in the N.W.A. days? Like father, like son - no make-up needed."
Rap mogul Dr. Dre halted plans for his son to portray him on the big screen in N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton over fears he didn't have enough acting experience. F. Gary Gray will direct the film about the rise of the California rap group, which included Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, the late Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella, and their split in 1991.
The cast was announced last week (ends22Jun14) and includes O'Shea Jackson, Jr., playing his father Ice Cube, and Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E.
Newcomer Marcus Callender landed the role of Dre, but the hip-hop veteran's aspiring actor/rapper son Curtis Young reveals he auditioned for the role first.
He says, "I actually tried out for the role, 'cause the casting company called me. But my father wanted somebody with more acting experience, and I haven't been acting for a long time, so I'm happy for the guy that got the role. It's one of those things where we want what's best for the movie and for the film. I had a lot of fans that were upset about it, but whatever's best for the film."
The biopic is set for release in 2015
The new N.W.A. biopic appears to have cost the planned sequel to Jeremy Renner's The Bourne Legacy a 2015 release. Sources close to the productions tell The Hollywood Reporter that director Justin Lin's Bourne sequel, starring Renner as Aaron Cross, has been pushed back to the summer of 2016 to make way for Straight Outta Compton.
The news comes just hours after movie executives confirmed the cast for the N.W.A. film, announcing Ice Cube's son O'Shea Jackson, Jr. will portray his father in the rags to riches story, alongside Corey Hawkins and Jason Mitchell as Dr. Dre and the late Eazy-E, respectively.
The biopic will now be released in August, 2015, taking over the Bourne film's release date.
Bosses at Universal movie studios have confirmed Corey Hawkins, O'shea Jackson, Jr. and Jason Mitchell will lead the cast of the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton.
Reports suggesting newcomer Marcus Callender had been cast as rapper Dr. Dre in the film surfaced earlier this week (begs16Jun14), but on Wednesday (18Jun14), movie executives revealed Non-Stop star Hawkins would take on the role.
As previously reported, Mitchell and Ice Cube's son Jackson, Jr. will portray the late Eazy-E and Ice Cube, respectively. F. Gary Gray will direct the film about the Compton, California rappers Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, the late Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella's rise to fame in the late 1980s and their subsequent split in 1991.
The movie is scheduled to hit theatres in August, 2015.
Newcomers Marcus Callender and Jason Mitchell have reportedly been cast to play Dr. Dre and Eazy-E in the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. The project has been in the works for several years, but director F. Gary Gray is now ready to move forward with the film and has cast Callender and Mitchell to round out the lead roles, according to Billboard.com.
Ice Cube's son O'Shea Jackson, Jr. has reportedly been tapped to play a younger version of his father in the film, which is scheduled to begin principal photography in August (14).
Straight Outta Compton tells the story of Compton, California rappers Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, the late Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella's rise to fame in the late 1980s and their subsequent split in 1991.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
With only a week and change having passed since the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we no doubt feel the question living fresh in our minds: can we ever judge a remake without considering its predecessors? The conversation about the stark contrast in critical favor between Marc Webb's release and Sam Raimi's trilogy (the second installment of his franchise in particular) buzzed loudly, and we imagine the volume will keep in regards to Gareth Edwards' Godzilla. But it'll be a different sound altogether.
The original Godzilla, a Japanese film released in 1954, reinvented the identity of the monster movie, launched a 30-film legacy, and spoke legions about the political climate of its era. The most recent of these films — Roland Emmerich's 1998 American production — is universally bemoaned as a bigger disaster than anything to befall Tokyo at the hands of the giant reptile. With these two entries likely standing out as the most prominent in the minds of contemporary audiences, Edwards' Godzilla has some long shadows cast before it. And in approaching the new movie, one might not be able to avoid comparisons to either. It's fair — by taking on an existing property, a filmmaker knowingly takes on the connotations of that property. But the 2014 installment's great success is that it isn't much like any Godzilla movie we've seen before. In a great, great way.
This isn't 1954's Godzilla, a dire and occasionally dreary allegory that uses the supernatural to tell an important story about nuclear holocaust. A complete reversal, in fact, first and foremost Edwards' Godzilla is about its monsters. Any grand themes strewn throughout — the perseverence of nature, the follies of mankind, fatherhood, madness, faith — are all in service to the very simple mission to give us some cool, weighty, articulate sci-fi disaster. Elements of gravity are plotted all over the film's surface, with scientists, military men (kudos to Edwards for not going the typical "scientists = good/smart, military = bad/dumb" route in this film — everybody here is at least open to suggestion), doctors, police officers, and a compassionate bus driver all wrestling with options in the face of behemoth danger. The humanity is everpresent, but never especially intrusive. To reiterate, this isn't a film about any of these people, or what they do.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
The closest thing to a helping of thematic (or human) significance comes with Ken Watanabe's Dr. Serizawa, who spouts awe-stricken maxims about cryptozoology, the Earth, and the inevitable powerlessness of man. He might not be supplying anything more substantial than our central heroes (soft-hearted soldier Aaron Taylor-Johnson, dutiful medic and mom Elizabeth Olsen, right-all-along conspiracy theorist Bryan Cranston), but Watanabe's bonkers performance as the harried scientist is so bizarrely good that you might actually believe, for a scene or two, that it all does mean something.
Ultimately, the beauty of our latest taste of Godzilla lies not in the commitment to a message that made the original so important nor in the commitment to levity that made Emmerich's so pointless, but in its commitment to imagination. Edwards' creature design is dazzling, his deus ex machina are riveting, and the ultimate payoff to which he treats his audience is the sort of gangbusters crowd-pleaser that your average contemporary monster movie is too afraid to consider.
In fairness, this year's Godzilla might not be considered an adequate remake, not quite reciprocating the ideals, tone, or importance of the original. Sure, anyone looking for a 2014 answer to 1954's game-changing paragon will find sincere philosophy traded for pulsing adventure... but they'd have a hard time ignoring the emphatic charm of this new lens for the 60-year-old lizard, both a highly original composition and a tribute in its way to the very history of monster movies (a history that owes so much to the creature in question). So does Godzilla '14 successfully fill the shoes of Godzilla '54? No — it rips them apart and dons a totally new pair... though it still has a lot of nice things to say about the first kicks.
Oh, and the '98 Godzilla? Yeah, it's better than that.
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Veteran actor Mitchell Jason has died at the age of 92. The screen and stage performer passed away in Doylestown, Pennsylvania on 11 March (14). No further details about his death have been released.
After studying at The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute in New York City, Jason headed to Broadway and appeared in numerous shows including A View From the Bridge, So Long, 174th Street and Fiddler on the Roof.
His most recent appearance on stage was in the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of hit musical Grand Hotel between 1989 and 1992.
Jason also appeared in a number of films, including Network and The Heartbreak Kid, as well as a recurring role in TV soap opera Loving.