A Snoop Dogg biopic is in the works at Universal Pictures from director Allen Hughes (Dead Presidents) and writer Joe Robert Cole (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever).
The studio made the announcement Wednesday morning in tandem with Snoop’s Death Row Pictures banner, which the rapper runs with Sara Ramaker. The two of them will produce the movie alongside Hughes, and the film will feature Snoop’s iconic hits. Universal’s Ryan Jones will oversee the project for the studio, while Mike Knobloch, NBCUniversal’s president of music and publishing, will supervise the project’s music.
Universal has plenty of experience marketing hit movies about rappers, having released 8 Mile starring Eminem as well as Straight Outta Compton, which chronicled the rise of N.W.A. Both of those movies grossed north of $200 million worldwide and were recognized by the Academy, with 8 Mile winning the Oscar for Best Original Song, and Straight Outta Compton being nominated for Best Original Screenplay.
Born Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., Snoop Dogg first shot to fame in the early ’90s with songs like “Gin and Juice,” “Gz and Hustlas,” “Lodi Dodi,” and “Murder Was The Case,” as well as several other collaborations with Dr. Dre. Over the course of his career, he has sold 35 million albums worldwide, won an Emmy, and been nominated for 17 Grammys. He also co-starred in movies such as Training Day, Starsky & Hutch, and Jamie Foxx‘s recent Netflix film Day Shift, and has established himself as an entrepreneur, lending his name to all kinds of consumer products, including cannabis.
For what it’s worth, Snoop is probably my favorite rapper of all time, as I also came of age in the ’90s, so I was introduced to his music at a particularly formative age, which may explain why I still throw on “Gz and Hustlas” in the car sometimes. The man has led an incredible life that is surely not without controversy, and I think this movie could be big for the studio, which is also developing a Madonna biopic starring Julia Garner.
“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 that I’m trying to portray on screen, and the memory I’m trying to leave behind,” said Snoop in a statement. “It was the perfect marriage. It was holy matrimony, not holy macaroni.”
“Snoop Dogg is one of the most internationally beloved figures in hip-hop,” added Hughes. “There’s just something about his energy that brings people of all walks of life together. Snoop Dogg, not just the artist, but the man and his brand, has transcended generations with his connection and appeal to audiences. His story is so authentic and utterly inspiring, and to have the opportunity to tell his story allows me to go back to the hood 30 years after Menace II Society, and say more now than I could then.”
“I’ve been a fan of Snoop since ‘Deep Cover,'” says Cole. “His music and the films of Allen Hughes have left an indelible mark on me over my life. What excites me most is the humanity of Snoop’s journey to international icon. Universal has proven they can guide a movie like this to something special. I’m proud to be a part of the team.”
“Snoop Dogg’s life and legacy make him one of the most exciting and influential icons in popular culture,” Universal chief Donna Langley said in a statement. “We met with Snoop shortly after he acquired Death Row Records and had the opportunity to hear his story in his own words. We are humbled to be able to create the lasting document of this singular artist.”
Hughes and his brother, fellow filmmaker Albert Hughes, grew up in Southern California and came up in the entertainment industry together around the same time as Snoop. Allen recently directed HBO’s award-winning documentary The Defiant Ones, which focused on Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. He’s represented by WME.
Cole is a generation younger than Snoop and Hughes but he grew up influenced by their work as he made his mark as a screenwriter. In addition to co-writing the two Black Panther movies for Marvel, he earned an Emmy nomination for his work on the acclaimed FX series American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson. He’s repped by Circle of Confusion.