By Chris Katje
A well-known rapper and hip-hop star from the 1990s is teaming with a media company to bring his story to movie theaters.
“What Happened: Rapper Snoop Dogg” will be the subject of a biopic from Universal Pictures, a unit of Comcast Corp.
Snoop Dogg told the VeeCon 2022 audience the biopic would begin with his growing up in Long Beach City, California, to becoming “your favorite rapper.” It may finally answer his popular song title: “Who Am I?”
An Emmy winner, he has sold more than 35 million albums worldwide and is a 17-time Grammy nominee.
The film will also chart Snoop’s recent successes, as he dives into the world of NFTs (non-fungible tokens), acquires Death Row Records, gives a Super Bowl halftime performance and performs as a Bored Ape NFT at the MTV Video Music Awards alongside Eminem.
Universal Pictures is partnering with Snoop’s newly formed Death Row Pictures.
Allen Hughes will direct the movie and Joe Robert Cole will write the screenplay. Snoop, Hughes and Sara Ramaker are attached as producers, according to Deadline.
“I waited a long time to put this project together because I wanted to choose the right director, the perfect writer, and the greatest movie company I could partner with that could understand the legacy I’m trying to portray on screen, and the memory I’m trying to leave behind. It was the perfect marriage. It was holy matrimony, not holy macaroni,” Snoop said.
Hughes previously worked on the docuseries “The Defiant Ones” about rapper Dr. Dre and record producer Jimmy Iovine for HBO. Hughes is also directing and producing “Dear Mama,” a documentary on rapper Tupac Shakur and his mother Afeni Shakur.
Cole co-wrote “Black Panther” and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” with Ryan Coogler, the movie’s director.
The biopic could also boost Death Row Records, as it uses songs from Snoop’s catalog. Snoop bought the label earlier this year. To note the event, he released *B.O.D.R.–Bacc on Death Row, * his 19th studio album.
“I wanted to be the CEO of Death Row Records and basically take over the merchandise, rerelease their music, do documentaries, and possibly do my life story,” Snoop told GQ in December 2021.
Universal Pictures is no stranger to biopics on musicians, previously distributing Academy Award winner “Ray,” based on Ray Charles, which earned a Best Actor Oscar for Jamie Foxx. It also distributed “Straight Outta Compton,” based on rap group N.W.A. In addition, Universal is planning biopics on Madonna and Cher, according to the trade magazine.
“Snoop Dogg’s life and legacy make him one of the most exciting and influential icons in pop culture,” Universal Chairman Donna Langley said. “We met with Snoop shortly after he acquired Death Row Records and had the opportunity to hear his story in his own words.”
“Straight Outta Compton” grossed $161.2 million domestically and more than $200 million worldwide. The 2015 release is the second-highest grossing music biopic of all-time domestically, trailing only the 2018 Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which won the Best Actor Oscar for Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, the British rock band’s frontman.
No word on who will play Snoop Dogg in the movie. O’Shea Jackson Jr., Ice Cube’s son, portrayed his father in “Straight Outta Compton.” Perhaps one of Snoop’s kids will play their father in his movie.
The biopic may be “The Next Episode” in Snoop Dogg’s long career.
Produced in association with Benzinga.
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