Even if you’re not generally a fan of music biopics, this one just might have what it takes to get you interested. This week it has been announced that Michael K. Williams, best known for playing Omar on The Wire, will star in an upcoming biopic about former Wu-Tang Clan member Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The movie will be called Dirty White Boy and it is being produced by Lars Knudsen and Jay Van Hoy (Beginners). ODB (né Russell Jones) struggled with drug addiction and legal troubles over the years before eventually dying of a drug overdose in 2004. Commercial and music video director / long-time cinematographer Joaquin Baca-Asay will make this his feature directorial debut.
According to Deadline, the story will be told partially from the point of view of Jarred Weisfeld, a young VH1 intern who became ODB’s manager. No word yet on who will play that role, but the script was written by Brent Hoff (Pranksta). The producers had this to say about the project:
“We both knew full well who Ol’ Dirty Bastard was but this story completely floored us. As filmmakers, we knew that this would make a great film and that Jarred Weisfeld would offer an actor a complicated and compelling character to play… This felt to us like Risky Business and 8 Mile, with equal elements of darkness, humor, and humanity.”
Joaquin Baca-Asay previously directed Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” music video and also served as DP on such films as Thumbsucker, Roger Dodger and Super Troopers. As for Michael K. Williams, he has been more recently seen in Boardwalk Empire as well as The Road and Life During Wartime. Any ODB fans out there? Do you think this has potential to be something more than just another generic biopic?