Movie sites and hip-hop blogs alike are buzzing about the reports that Boyz N The Hood director John Singleton has been approached by Ice Cube to direct Straight Outta Compton, the N.W.A. biopic that’s reportedly been in the works for a while. And while Cube, a family man with a shaved head in his 40’s, is probably the wrong guy to play the teenaged, Jheri-curled O’Shea Jackson at this point in his career, here’s five actors who we could get behind in some black-and-silver L.A. Raiders gear, rapping “Fuck Tha Police” and ultimately ushering in gangsta rap.
1. Michael B. Jordan as Easy-E
Though he doesn’t look like anything like Eazy, Jordan’s emotional depth is perfect for the complex (and bratty) person that he became. Known for breaking our hearts as Wallace on The Wire, and believing in second chances as Vince Howard on Friday Night Lights, Jordan could flourish if given a chance to stretch his acting arms a bit and play a hustler who likes to pick fights with his own group.
2. Tristan Wilds as Ice Cube
Wilds is another Wire alum, and currently starring in the camp-drama 90210 remake — but with his rounder face and stocky frame, he’s perfect for filling the shoes of a young Cube — just toss in a Jheri curl and and some Cube swagged coached by the Ice man himself and we’re golden.
3. John Boyega as MC Ren
Who knows if if he can do a convincing American accent, but we’ll assume that Boyega, who blew minds in the English street-gang-versus-aliens movie Attack the Block this summer, can play any part he’s given. Bonus points for the fact that at 19, he’s actually the right age for the part of MC Ren; getting him on board might be tough though, as he’s just been cast by HBO to star in Da Brick, a Spike Lee/Mike Tyson show loosely based on the young boxer’s life.
4. Malcolm David Kelley as Dr. Dre
It’d be good to see Walt from Lost in something again, wouldn’t it? Aside from some bit parts on shows like Saving Grace and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Kelley’s main gig recently has been with the Teen Nick show, Gigantic — but on Lost he (like the rest of the class) played the innocent card very well, which along with a World Class Wreckin’ Cru jumpsuit, would go quite well with Dre’s “who, me?” personality.
5. Drake as DJ Yella
It’d probably make sense to have an actor who’s got some firsthand experience in hip-hop in the cast. Drake hasn’t been on camera much since Degrassi Junior High, but if Cube and Singleton came knocking, it’s hard to imagine that he wouldn’t be at least a little interested in taking on the role of Yella, who multi-tasked as a producer, film director, drummer and pornographer.