"Straight Outta Compton" has found a director. It was announced on Tuesday that F. Gary Gray had beaten out names like John Singleton ("Boyz N The Hood"), George Tillman Jr. ("Notorious") and Elgin James ("Little Birds") for the chance to direct the N.W.A. bio film being set up at New Line.
Like Tillman's "Notorious" -- a wildly underrated classic about Notorious B.I.G. and not the Alfred Hitchcock thriller -- "Straight Outta Compton" will likely have a "Behind the Music" feel; the rap group N.W.A. (which stands for N----- With Attitude) rose to fame in the late '80s, but suffered the usual array of musical meltdowns and internal conflict.
No word yet on casting, but expect the process to be interesting: N.W.A. counted current superstars Ice Cube and Dr. Dre among its members, as well as Eazy-E, the group founder who died of AIDS-related complications in 1995. Ice Cube is a producer on "Straight Outta Compton."
Gray could be the perfect man to direct this material. He made his feature directorial debut on the Ice Cube comedy "Friday," and also directed Cube's video for "It Was a Good Day."
Gray's involvement means that he won't direct "Captain America 2" for Marvel. He was in the running for that job along with Joe and Anthony Russo ("Community") and George Nolfi ("The Adjustment Bureau"). With that film scheduled for an April 4, 2014 release date, expect some announcement soon.