What?! I’m not paying to see a biopic about a fat rapper who’s not even that good, even if Nick Cassavetes is directing it! Wait, it’s not about the guy who made the hit single “Everyday I’m Hustlin”? It’s actually about the cutthroat LA-based drug kingpin who painted the town white in the 1980s? OK, that I’ll see.
Reuters is reporting that director Cassavetes (Alpha Dog, The Notebook) has signed on to helm a film about the early days of Rick Ross’ career as a crack cocaine dealer. He’s already written a script and the development of the project now depends on financing. According to the source, Ross has spoken with both Mark Wahlberg and Leonardo DiCaprio about either starring in or producing the picture, but there are no deals in place yet.
The period that the film would chronicle would cover familiar territory: an up-and-coming drug lord moving around 100kg of product a day on the streets of Los Angeles. The movie would also touch upon Ross’ claims that he was supplied by Contras fighting the government of Nicaragua and is expected to dramatize the Iran-Contra affair of the late 1980s, when some officials in the administration of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan were convicted of secretly facilitating arms sales to Iran and funneling money to Nicaraguan Contras. While I think Cassavetes is a fine filmmaker, I like Brian de Palma more and Scarface, for my money, is the ultimate cocaine flick. Still, Cassavetes co-wrote another great narcotics picture with Blow, so he knows this world well.
Though he doesn’t like to compare films, Cassavetes has said that there’s another great movie he’d use to describe his new project. “If I had to compare this movie to another that’s been made in terms of a feeling, a point of view, maybe ‘Traffic’,” the auteur said, adding that he’s taking the material seriously as this stuff is actually family business. “My brother was a mercenary. He worked in Central America training the Contras, so in a way the story is personal to me. The fact that our government may have been complicit in destroying an entire community of people makes the story personal for everyone.” Right on, Nick, right on. If he’s passionate about the story, then I’m sure we’re in for a hell of a ride.