With Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Eazy-E’s widow, Tomica Wright, all reportedly signing off on the cast, NWA’s forthcoming film, Straight Outta Compton, is one step closer to completion. Last week, it was announced Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson, Jr., would portray his father in the flick.
Now, confirmation has been received on who is expected to play two of the film’s most important roles in Dre and Eazy.
Less known is the classically-trained actor who is said to have won the role of Dre, Marcus Callender. Although the alum of New York’s Shakespeare Lab at the Public Theater might be more familiar with Chekhov than Compton’s gang-plagued streets [HE BETTER LEARN TO HOLD CHEKHOV'S GUN SIDEWAYS! -Ed], he beat out a phalanx of would-be rappers (the Beats co-founder originally wanted Michael B. Jordan to play him, but the actor is about to take on a Fantastic Four reboot at Fox). Still, Callender has some screen credits, including the pilot for Steve Zaillian’s Criminal Justice on HBO, as well as bit parts in the CBS series Blue Bloods and Elementary.
Even more obscure is Jason Mitchell, who insiders say landed the role of Eazy-E after an out-of-the-park screen test. If his casting sticks, it will make for a great backstory, given that he is said to have no acting background and works in a kitchen.
Working in a kitchen? Very little acting experience? Out-of-the-park audition? This is how lifetime achievement award speeches normally start. And although getting the chance to see Mike B. Jordan take on the role of The Doctor probably being nothing short of amazing, here’s to hoping new faces provide an unexpected jolt and attraction factor to a movie detailing one of the most notorious forces in pop culture history.
As for when filming begins and an anticipated release date, let’s not jump ahead of ourselves here. We’re still unaware of who’ll be playing the roles of MC Ren, DJ Yella and The D.O.C. Oh, yeah, Jerry Heller, too.
Something tells me Skip Bayless would be a marvelous Heller.