Ice Cube never thought a major studio would have the testicular fortitude to greenlight Straight Outta Compton until he met Universal Pictures chair Donna Langley. “Sorry guys, some of you all don’t have balls as big as Donna Langley,” Cube told theater owners Thursday during Universal’s CinemaCon presentation.
The upcoming biopic about N.W.A., whose members include Eazy-E and Dr. Dre, promises to be controversial. It documents the rap group’s rise against a backdrop that includes the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Its depiction of police brutality will likely spawn a wave of cable news bloviating and opinion pieces, especially in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
“We gave other artists the courage to be themselves,” Cube said, promising the film would have “gang banging,” “drugs,” “Hip-Hop” and “Reaganomics.” Dre said he was convinced to lend his name and influence to the project because the filmmakers “showed up with an amazing amount of passion.” The footage that Cube, Dre and director F. Gary Gray shared at the exhibition industry tradeshow depicted a life of urban violence and economic deprivation in South Central. Despite the grim subject matter, Cube said exhibitors will sell a lot of tickets, calling N.W.A. “the real superheroes this summer.” “Marvel got their thing, but we got our thing too,” he said.
Straight Outta Compton debuts on Aug. 14, 2015.