A New Def Jam Biopic May Be in the Works. The Choices For Russell & Rick May Surprise You
By now, the news of Straight Outta Compton‘s success is common knowledge; the N.W.A. biopic soared into film history by becoming the highest-grossing music biopic ever, beating out films about superstars like Ray Charles and Johnny Cash. That success has opened up space for ongoing discussions about the Hip-Hop Biopic as a genre, something that hasn’t been feasible on such a large scale before. The conversation has now moved from whether or not the genre is viable to what or who the next subject will be, and according to Deadline Hollywood, the history of Def Jam may well be the next focal point.
As reported by Deadline, “Universal is considering another high profile deep dive into Hip-Hop history, this time the story of Def Jam Recordings and its co-founder Russell Simmons” with Fruitvale Station‘s Michael B. Jordan rumored to play the lead. Heads may be asking “what about Rick Rubin?” Based on the same report, Jonah Hill’s name has been offered up as an actor who could potentially play Def Jam’s founder. Deadline goes on to share that “the film would be based on 2002’s book Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money, + God, co-written by Simmons and Nelson George, which chronicles Simmons’ career, particularly the creation (with Rubin) of the legendary Hip-Hop label that defined rap in the 80s.” Whether or not 1985’s Krush Groove, a film loosely based on the early days of Def Jam, will also be used as inspiration is yet to be determined but either way, Heads are certain to be intrigued by the idea of a biopic detailing the history of one of Hip-Hop’s most invaluable record labels.
If these purported plans are true, Hip-Hop fans may have another blockbuster film to look forward to. What other Hip-Hop stories deserve the silver-screen treatment?