According to The Hollywood Reporter actor Paul Giamatti (Saving Mr. Banks) will join the cast of the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton as Jerry Heller, a co-founder of Ruthless Records. The cast already includes Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. as his father Ice Cube. F. Gary Gray will direct, Matt Alvarez and Tomica Woods-Wright as well as NWA members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre will produce.
The title of the film comes from N.W.A.’s debut album Straight Outta Compton, praised for its lyrics depicting a harsh inner city life, and social commentary addressing issues such as police brutality and racial profiling. Jerry Heller was the group’s manager and co-founded the label Ruthless Records along with Eazy-E. Heller had previously overseen Journey, ELO, and REO Speedwagon, and later worked with groups such as The Black Eyed Peas and Bone Thug-N-Harmony. Both Ice Cube and Dr. Dre blamed Heller’s management as their reason for leaving N.W.A. in 1989 and 1991, respectively. Ice Cube has since had a successful acting career most recently with 22 Jump Street – he will appear in the upcoming Barbershop 3.
Universal plans to release Straight Outta Compton on August 14, 2015.