It's well over a year since Ice Cube announced he was planning to produce a biopic of his erstwhile NWA crew. In the meantime he's turned out for romantic drama New Year's Eve and played the Frank McRae angry captain role in 21 Jump Street. But Cube has continued to develop Straight Outta Compton, and now John Singleton has revealed he's in talks to direct.
It's an obvious match of material and a director who previously worked with Cube on the epochal Boyz N the Hood. Since then the likes of Shaft, Four Brothers and 2 Fast 2 Furious have kept him afloat, and he's recently completed the Taylor Lautner vehicle Abduction, from the hot Black List script by Shawn Christensen.
His Compton involvement isn't set in stone - "I can't talk too prematurely about it," he told The Playlist - but he does say that "the script is really, really good, so we're figuring it out." He adds that "New Line really wants to make it."
Last we heard, that script was in the hands of World Trade Centre writer Andrea Berloff, but it seems since to have picked up S Leigh Savidge and Alan Wenkus, both of whom are also collaborating on a new Dolemite movie. Savidge made a documentary about the Death Row label, the post-NWA home of Dr Dre, in 2001. Matt Alvarez, Cube's producing cohort from the likes of Barbershop and Are We There Yet?, is also involved.
Cube had an acrimonious split from NWA before pursuing his solo career (he went platinum, bitch, but he didn't have to sell out), and although he's been reconciled with his former bandmates since the death of Easy E, a Cube-controlled Straight Outta Compton still seems one-sided. That said, it's early days, so there's no reason to suspect that Dre, DJ Yella and MC Ren won't have some sort of involvement somewhere down the line.
There's also the question of casting: any suggestions for Cube as a teenager, with a little bit of gold and a pager?