Following news that Ice Cube has cast his son, O’Shea Jackson Jr, as himself in the long awaited N.W.A biopic, reports have surfaced that director F Gary Gray has filled the roles of Dr Dre and Eazy-E. Marcus Callender and Jason Mitchell are set to play Dr Dre and Eazy-E, respectively.
Back in April, Gray told Rolling Stone that he’d organised a casting call in order to find actors for Straight Outta Compton‘s principal roles. Gray stated that he was interested in casting unknowns to play the members of the iconic group and that what was most important was the “hood factor.”
“It’s just a certain thing that a person from the hood has,” he said. “When you watch American Idol and they have that It Factor – there’s a Hood Factor. You get the authenticity when you’re in an environment likes this and you have an open call. I’ve been seeing that and I’m pretty happy with it.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Callender, who will play Dre despite the super-producer’s request to be played by Michael B Jordan, is a veteran of New York’s Shakespeare Lab at the Public Theater. He has previously had small roles on HBO’s Criminal Justice and CBS’s Elementary.
Meanwhile, Mitchell has had minor roles in Broken City and Contraband, and reportedly scored the role of the late Ruthless Records founder after an impressive screen test. The Hollywood Reporter writes that Ice Cube, Dr Dre, and Eazy-E’s widow Tomica Wright have signed off on the actors.
Grey said that Straight Outta Compton will not be unlike The Social Network or American Graffiti. “You take a place and time in America, especially as it relates to popular culture, and you see the shift, and they were right there and created part of the pivot that America took in entertainment.”
Gallery: New Straight Outta Compton Cast Members