*Paul Giamatti has joined Universal’s N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton” as the rap group’s manager Jerry Heller.
Heller was already a major figure in the music scene before working with N.W.A. He represented such acts as Journey, ELO and REO Speedwagon, and helped Pink Floyd and Elton John in their early American tours, according to Billboard. But his musical legacy was cemented when he co-founded the label Ruthless Records with Eazy-E.
He signed and managed Eazy-E’s group N.W.A and oversaw their rise. However, when the group broke up, and Ice Cube and Dr. Dre bounced, Heller was fingered by some as the cause of the group’s disbandment for mishandling monies.
Ice Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson Jr. is playing his father in the film, with Jason Mitchell taking the part of Eazy-E and Corey Hawkins starring as Dr. Dre.
F. Gary Gray is directing the film, with original members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre as well as Matt Alvarez and Tomica Woods-Wright producing. Will Packer and Scott Bernstein are exec producing.
Universal is releasing “Straight Outta Compton” Aug. 14, 2015.