I can begrudge Ice Cube his pandering paychecks from doing family shit like Are We There Yet? as a man has to feed his kids. I may not like it, but it doesn’t drag him down as a human being. What it does to do though is murder his gangster credibility utterly and absolutely, which beyond making me derisively laugh at beer commercials positing that “Ice Cube is the coldest thing around,” it also sends one of my eyebrows straight through the roof when he starts talking about an N.W.A. film again. This newest development comes from The Playlist, and boils down to John Singleton mentioning that he and Ice Cube are still partnering on the long-discussed biopic of N.W.A.
“I can’t talk about it too prematurely about the stuff I’m doing because nothing’s come to fruition yet, but Cube and I are talking about doing the N.W.A. story,” Singleton told The Playlist. “The script is really, really good, and so we’re just figuring it out. New Line really wants to make it.”
That still sounds like a shitty idea, and not because I don’t buy Ice Cube as a guy that would cap someone anymore.
Obviously Cube would only be involved as a producer, possible co-writer, so the idea that he himself doesn’t have the persona he used to isn’t the problem. The bigger problem is that he was only a part of the group for a portion of their history and certainly has a skewed perspective on the project. Hell, the guy was out of the group before they even managed serious radio play. That’s not to say there’s not a full story in that brief time during the Fuck The Police controversy before they got more “crossover” success, but I don’t think Cube is the one to tell any kind of full story.
This is the kind of thing that should be made by outsiders looking in, that should have some degree of honesty co-existing with artistic license… Maybe Cube has an interesting perspective on their time as a transgressive American phenomenon, and maybe Singleton has that Boyz vitality still in him, but I’m skeptical. Ultimately the guy whose filmmaking resume is filled with producer credits on kids movie spin-offs and Barbershop sequels is not the person I think would do right by this story anymore.
There’s also all the other obvious questions… Would Dr. Dre or any other members be involved? Are all the music rights in place? What are the thoughts on the casting? Etc.
I say get someone young, hungry and who could identify with the struggles of making it, and then taking it when you make it. The alternative is getting someone masterful who can cut to the bone of the rich thematic possibilities of the N.W.A. story bu that said, I think the approach to an N.W.A. film should be rough and harsh. We don’t need The Compton Network, but something raw and emotional.
Any NWA fans want to shout out some thoughts on this?
Can’t imagine Cube has a great deal of nostalgia for the NWA that was calling him out as a coward…