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After losing Michael B. Jordan, the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton has at long last found its three leads, and the film's first look shows them off alongside the men they're playing. In the photograph up top, you'll see (clockwise) Ice Cube, Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray, Dr. Dre, Corey Hawkins (as young Dr. Dre), Jason Mitchell (as the late Eazy-E), and O'Shea Jackson Junior (as young Ice Cube). Dr. Dre and Ice Cube also serve as producers on the project, which will focus on the early days of N.W.A on the 1980s streets of Compton, California.
Straight Outta Compton could be a great opportunity to launch the careers of these three largely unknown actors, who'll have a chance to set the world on fire when Universal Pictures releases the music-pumped biopic on August 14th, 2015. In the meantime, let's get to know the men behind these roles, and see how well they stack up physically against their real-life inspirations.
First up, playing Dr. Dre, we've got Corey Hawkins, a Washington, D.C. native who made his first gig at the age of 9 when he sang at Showtime At The Apollo. He went on to earn a Bachelor's in Drama at the prestigious Julliard School, and made his film debut in 2012 in the little known thriller Allegiance. Since then, he scored supporting parts in Non-Stop and Romeo and Juliet. But Straight Outta Compton will be his biggest role yet.
Jason Mitchell will be portraying N.W.A. member Easy-E, making Straight Outta Compton his fifth film. However, to be fair, he's had bit parts in crime dramas like Texas Killing Fields as well as two Mark Wahlberg vehicles, Contraband and Broken City. His other feature was a lesser-known Jean-Claude Van Damme flick called Dragon Eyes, meaning Straight Outta Compton is his most major opportunity to date.
Lastly, we've got O'Shea Jackson Jr, whose name should be familiar to hardcore N.W.A. fans. Notice a family resemblance between him and Ice Cube? You should. O'Shea Jackson Jr is the oldest son of Ice Cube, born O'Shea Jackson. Straight Outta Compton will mark Junior's screen debut. Ice Cube reportedly lobbied hard to get his first born the role of his younger self. While Junior doesn't have any acting credits prior to this, he has had a lifetime of observing the man he's now meant to play. We'll find out in little more than a year if Cube was right to cast him.