Sometimes a film just seems cursed not to be made. Straight Outta Compton seems to be one of those films, considering there's been a shooting, various casting problems, even accusations of racism clouding the proceedings. However, if you thought the NWA biography was out of the woods and sailing clean, the biggest wrench has been thrown into the works: a murder investigation.
TMZ reported that legendary rap producer Suge Knight has allegedly been implicated in a hit and run death, as well as the injuries of another party, on the set of the upcoming biopic. As the story goes, a scene with Ice Cube and Dr. Dre was being shot, only to be interrupted by Suge Knight who rolled onto the set in his own car. A scuffle ensued between Knight and two other men, as security tried to throw him off the set. This resulted in, as the reports assume, Knight getting back into his car, and backing over the man that was standing behind his vehicle. TMZ's latest update notes a second fight may have taken place at a nearby burger joint.
Outlets are sharply divided at this point on the identity of the victim. We know his name is Terry Carter, but as to whether he's the former Battlestar Galactica star Terry Carter or another Terry Carter is unclear. Either way, it sounds like Carter was trying to get into the car when the accident occurred; and that Knight was in a rush to get off of the Straight Outta Compton set, as he was "scared because he's in frail health." The report names the other men as "instigators," and a following report from Deadline mentions that the L.A. County Sheriff's Department has not named an official suspect at this time, but TMZ's report states that Suge Knight is being sought for questioning.
This is the second death on a film shoot reported today that has claimed the life of someone on the set of a major motion picture. The first was the accidental death of a Taiwanese construction worker that was involved in a ceiling collapse, during some repairs on the set of Martin Scorsese's Silence. Also a victim of delays and a troubled production history, both incidents make today a very sad day in film production, as two lives have been claimed during the movie making process.
We won't know how the ensuing investigation into Suge Knight's alleged crimes will affect the production of Straight Outta Compton, at least not yet we won't. What can be said is that between the deaths on both Silence and Straight Outta Compton, as well as the death of camera operator Sarah Jones and even a cinematographer on the new Jackie Chan film, it looks like the filmmaking community is going to have to start looking into safety and security standards on their film shoots. At the very least, a big conversation may need to be had.
Straight Outta Compton is slated for release on August 15, 2015.