Universal Reportedly Eyeing Jonah Hill, Michael B. Jordan for Def Jam Biopic
Published Sep 16, 2015With respect to Public Enemy's "Burn Hollywood Burn," the success of this summer's N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton has seemingly set Tinseltown ablaze, with the prospect of even more rap-related films on the way. Channelling some East Coast history, it's now being reported that actors Jonah Hill and Michael B. Jordan are being eyed for lead roles in a movie chronicling the early days of the iconic Def Jam label.
As Deadline reports, rumours are flying that a Universal Studios-backed biopic is being plotted behind the beloved hip-hop institution, which would be based on founder Russell Simmons' 2002 memoirs, Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money, + God. Though it's purely speculative at this point, it's been suggested that Fantastic Four star Jordan could handle the role of label mastermind Simmons, while Superbad actor Hill could be cast in the role of bearded studio svengali/co-founder Rick Rubin.
It should be noted that neither actor has weighed in on the roles in public.
The book takes the tale of Simmons and Rubin back to the early '80s, where the pair plotted out their game-changing empire from Rubin's NYU dorm room. Their early roster included such icons as L.L. Cool J, Public Enemy and Beastie Boys, while the Def Jam ranks have gone on to include Jay Z, Ghostface Killah, Rihanna, Frank Ocean, Ashanti, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Common, Alessia Cara, EPMD, Nas, Slick Rick and many, many more.
An old synopsis for Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money, + God noted that Simmons' story is "one of personal transformation, from the driven man who in the heady days of early success indulged himself with drugs, sex, and world-class decadence to the husband and father he is today, a man who has found meaning in activism, philanthropy, and spiritual practice while never losing his passion for the social, political, artistic, and commercial potential of hip-hop."