ice cube son

Ice Cube is contributing to the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton as a producer, but at 44 he’s obviously too old to play a teenaged version of himself. So director F. Gary Gray has cast the next best thing: Ice Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson Jr.

The young star is the first actor announced for the film, with the other main cast members expected to be announced in the near future. Get the latest details on the project after the jump.

It’s not tough to figure out how the inexperienced Jackson won the role. According to TheWrap, Ice Cube has casting approval on Straight Outta Compton (along with Dr. Dre and Eazy-E‘s widow Tomica Woods-Wright, both of whom are also producing), and has been lobbying to get his son the job for some time.

Nevertheless, Ice Cube covered his bases by auditioning several other candidates, including rappers and professional actors. Ultimately, he was able to convince studio Universal that the younger Jackson was the right man for his job. Eazy-E’s son apparently wasn’t so lucky. He went out for a part, but reportedly lost it to an unknown actor. The other stars could be announced as early as this week.

Scripted by Jonathan Herman, Straight Outta Compton follows the pioneering rap group’s rise to fame. Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, and Arabian Prince formed the group in the late ’80s; MC Ren joined shortly afterward in 1988. The group released just two studio albums before disbanding in 1991, but that was long enough to make their mark on the music world.

The project was in development at New Line for years before Universal plucked it out of turnaround last year. The studio has yet to give it an official greenlight, but Gray’s wasting no time getting to work. He’s already shot an end-credits sequence featuring Ice Cube and Dr. Dre (the real ones, not the younger actors) talking about their group’s legacy.

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