I loved Straight Outta Compton in spite of its flaws, but one of the most glaring issues with the film is that movie Suge Knight (played by R. Marcos Taylor) is nowhere near as menacing as real Suge Knight (a tall order, certainly). I’ve been desperate to hear Knight’s review of the movie, but he’s still locked up in LA County Jail on $10 million bail awaiting trial for murder.
Knight’s attorney, Thomas Mesereau (pictured – side note: did they give Suge a lowered chair so that he looks less big and scary?), hasn’t seen it yet either, but that didn’t stop him from weighing in anyway. Jesus, man, what are you, a RottenTomatoes commenter?
“I’m sure he wouldn’t like it because a lot of it is exaggerated and silly and ridiculous,” Mesereau told TheWrap Monday
“A lot of the media does not realize how many good things he did for people, particularly in his community,” the attorney explained. “He financed athletic facilities in schools, he gave money to the homeless, money to people in need. He tried to arrange truces on the streets so people weren’t killed.”
While he wouldn’t name names, Mesereau also took aim at others who forgot about Compton once they made it big. “Unlike many other people who succeeded in the rap business, he never abandoned his community,” Mesereau said. [TheWrap]
“And unlike some other executive producers who are all up in the videos, dancin…” I wish Mesereau had added.
It’s a little ironic calling the movie exaggerated and silly for depicting Suge Knight as a violent, extorting thug, while he’s currently awaiting trial for running over two people, one of whom was a technical adviser for the film, during what sounds suspiciously like a botched extortion attempt.
According to media reports, Knight was not invited to the promo shoot [featuring Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and The Game], but dropped in unannounced after hearing that a “Suge look-alike” had been hired to appear in the film. When asked if Knight went to the set to discuss his portrayal in the movie or in an effort to be paid for the use of his likeness, Mesereau responded Monday, “The only comment I have on these facts was that he was ambushed, he was defending himself at all times and he will be vindicated.” [TheWrap]
More on that:
….the film’s technical adviser, Cle “Bone” Sloan, attacked Knight moments before the ex-mogul ran him over with his pickup truck. During Knight’s getaway, he struck and killed Terry Carter, a Compton businessman who was trying to negotiate peace between Knight and rapper-producer Dr. Dre, according to his family’s attorney. [DetroitNews]
How bad is Suge’s reputation? Terry Carter’s family is actually suing Universal, saying that they should’ve known that making a movie about Suge Knight would lead to violence.
“While we have only heard innuendo about Mr. Knight’s depiction, if it is as prominent as we are led to believe, it creates a real difficulty for the defendants in this lawsuit,” the family’s attorney Carl Douglas said in an interview last week. “They knew or they should have known that there would be some pushback from Mr. Knight. [DetroitNews]
Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, who are producers on the film, are also named in the suit.
In a demurrer filed last week, Dr. Dre and Cube say they committed no malfeasance, that their only affirmative act was a “specific request” that Sloan direct Knight to leave camp. This, they say, “did not create undue risks for anyone, let alone Carter.” [HollywoodReporter]
It’s hard to say what will happen with the lawsuits (the idea that Universal “should’ve known better” than to piss off Suge Knight is somehow ridiculous and reasonable at the same time), but with Straight Outta Compton setting box office records (the final numbers had its opening at $60 million, ahead of the initial $56.2 estimate) there’s going to be a lot left over to pay all the lawyers.
And if Suge ever needs to raise more money to pay legal fees, I would absolutely watch his version of the NWA biopic. Suge walking around holding an ice cream cone, taking his giant pit bull to visit sick kids at the children’s hospital, playing hacky sack with Vanilla Ice while they laugh and laugh.