Sony Pictures is in early development of a biopic about the late rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard with his cousin and Wu-Tang leader RZA attached to produce.
Sony had no comment on the project, which does not have a director or actors attached. RZA has an extensive resume in Hollywood as an actor in “Californication” and “American Gangster” and director of “The Man with the Iron Fists” and “Cut Throat City,” starring Wesley Snipes and T.I.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard was born as Russell Tyrone Jones in 1968. He took the stage name Ol’ Dirty Bastard, also known as O.D.B., from the 1980 martial arts film “Ol’ Dirty and the Bastard” and helped found the rap collective Wu-Tang Clan in Staten Island with his cousins RZA and GZA along with Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God and Masta Killa.
The Wu-Tang Clan took its name from the 1983 movie “Shaolin and Wu Tang” and broke out with their first album, 1993’s “Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers.” Ol’ Dirty Bastard released his first solo album, “Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version,” in 1995, for which received a Grammy nomination for best rap album. He received a second Grammy nomination for appearing on the 1999 album “Ghetto Superstar (That Is What You Are).”
His music career was interrupted by arrests and jail time for assault, drug possession and fleeing from a court-ordered rehab clinic. He rushed the stage during the 1998 Grammy Awards to protest Wu-Tang’s loss to Puff Daddy. Ol’ Dirty Bastard died in 2004 of a drug overdose a few days before his 36th birthday.
Universal saw major success from 2015’s NWA biopic “Straight Outta Compton” with $161 million in worldwide grosses. Lionsgate released Tupac Shakur biopic “All Eyez on Me” last year with $45 million at the domestic box office.
RZA is repped by WME and King Holmes. The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.