Paul Giamatti Straight Outta Compton

The members of N.W.AEazy-E, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella and MC Ren — did things their way, but still needed some music industry connections to get their songs out to a big audience. The guy they turned to was Jerry Heller, who was best known for living on the opposite end of the pop spectrum, working with bands like Journey, ELO, and REO Speedwagon. The guy had connections and money; Heller and Eazy-E co-founded N.W.A’s label Ruthless Records, and Heller managed the group. Now, Paul Giamatti will play him in the film bio of the group, Straight Outta Compton.

THR has the news.

Unsurprisingly, while Heller and N.W.A worked together well for a few years, things eventually turned acrimonious. When Ice Cube and Dr. Dre split the band, they did so in part over allegations that Heller had mismanaged their money, and even sowed unrest amongst the band members by favoring Eazy-E over everyone else. So Giamatti should be a treat to watch in the role.

The film, which is set during the band’s early days in the mid-’80s, also stars Ice Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Cube, with Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E and Corey Hawkins as Dr. DreF. Gary Gray is directing. See them all posed together in a cast photo here.

Straight Outta Compton is shooting now in LA.

In the mid-1980s, the streets of Compton, California, were some of the most dangerous in the country.  When five young men translated their experiences growing up into brutally honest music that rebelled against abusive authority, they gave an explosive voice to a silenced generation.  Following the meteoric rise and fall of N.W.A., STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON tells the astonishing story of how these youngsters revolutionized music and pop culture forever the moment they told the world the truth about life in the hood and ignited a cultural war.

Paul Giamatti Straight Outta Compton

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