Universal Eyeing ‘Straight Outta Compton’ (Exclusive)

Universal is in talks to pick up the feature "Straight Outta Compton" from New Line

Negotiations are underway for Universal Pictures to pick up “Straight Outta Compton,” F. Gary Gray’s feature film about the hip hop band N.W.A., from New Line,  a person familiar with the situation has told TheWrap.

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The feature follows the legendary hip hop band’s rise to stardom, from being teenagers in poor Los Angeles neighborhoods to the breaking up of the band.

Andrea Berloff penned the script for the film, which includes Ice Cube (pictured) among the producers.  

“Straight Outta Compton” also looks at the controversy surrounding the group, Easy E's death from AIDS, the beginning of Ice Cube's solo career, and the forming of Death Row Records.

The original N.W.A. line up included the artists Arabian Prince, DJ Yella, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube and the rapper MC Ren.  “Straight Outta Compton” was the name of the group’s first album, which marked the beginning of the new “gangsta era” in rap.

In July, Universal also acquired  “Ride Along” in turnaround from New Line, with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube starring in this comedy about a risk averse school teacher. The film is due to be released in January.

New Line did not respond for comment to TheWrap. Universal could not be reached for comment.