A few weeks ago, Eric “Lil E” Wright Jr., son of the late Eazy E, expressed his displeasure at not being cast to play his father in the upcoming N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. Ice Cube, who serves as a producer on the film, recently explained the decision not to cast Wright Jr.
During a radio interview in Colorado, Ice Cube expounded on the decision to cast actor Jason Mitchell to play Eazy E. He says in the end it all came down to experience and the ability to have range in the role:
He’s an up-and-coming actor trying to do it, but we needed somebody who was a little more polished to play Eazy, because he goes through a lot in his life. He goes from selling dope in Compton to fighting for his life in a hospital bed. So we needed to find an actor with a lot of range. And we just couldn’t use just anybody. We gave him a shot, and it just didn’t work out.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Wright Jr. has shown support for Mitchell, even going so far as to offer advice and give him details on portraying his father. Interestingly enough, though he has no prior acting experience, Ice Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson Jr. was cast to play his father in the film.
Straight Outta Compton is set to begin filming next month and has a scheduled release date of August 2015.