Straight Outta Compton, F. Gary Gray’s upcoming N.W.A. biopic, has already cast most of its key players. A literal young Ice Cube is playing the young Ice Cube, Marcus Callender—a classically trained stage actor—is playing a pre-med school Dr. Dre, and Jason Mitchell—who has mostly appeared in Mark Wahlberg movies—will be Eazy-E. Also, some other guys are playing the other guys. The only missing piece left was noted gangster rapper Paul Giamatti, but according to The Hollywood Reporter, he has now officially joined the film. Finally!
Giamatti will be playing Ruthless Records co-founder and N.W.A. manager Jerry Heller, the man who is often blamed for the group’s breakup. THR calls him “a Yoko Ono figure.” The story is that Heller favored certain members of N.W.A. over others, and he was also accused of mismanaging their finances. In other words, look for Giamatti to play a bit of an antagonistic role in the film near the end, especially when he starts masterminding N.W.A.’s collapse. Either way, it’s fun to think of the guy from Sideways being in a movie about gangster rap, right?