Straight Outta Compton is a 2015 American biographical drama film directed by F. Gary Gray, depicting the rise and fall of the gangsta rap group N.W.A and its members Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre. The members of N.W.A were involved in the production of the film, including Ice Cube and Dr. Dre as producers, as was Eazy-E’s widow, Tomica Woods-Wright, while MC Ren and DJ Yella served as creative consultants. Ice Cube is played by his real-life son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., with Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre and Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E. Paul Giamatti also stars as N.W.A’s manager Jerry Heller.
Talks of an N.W.A biopic began in 2010 by New Line Cinema. Several directors were approached, including Craig Brewer, Peter Berg and John Singleton, before Gray was confirmed in April 2012. Much of the cast signed on in June 2014 and principal photography began that August, taking place around Los Angeles and Compton, California. The production faced several controversies, including casting call issues and several acts of violence on set.
Released on August 14, 2015, Straight Outta Compton made over $201 million on a production budget of $50 million, was chosen by National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2015 and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. It inspired Dr. Dre’s third studio album, Compton, which debuted at no. 2 on the US Billboard 200 album chart a week prior to the film’s release. The soundtrack album, featuring music by N.W.A, debuted at no. 1 on the Rap Albums chart and reached no. 1 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Heller filed a lawsuit against the filmmakers, protesting his depiction and claiming that parts were taken from his autobiography without permission.