EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate is moving quickly on The Book Of Luke, a drama about the provocative hip hop group 2 Live Crew and its leader Luther Campbell, whose parody version of the Roy Orbison hit song Oh Pretty Woman went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court before a landmark ruling favored Campbell and paved the way for fair use sampling for music judged to be parody.
Craig A. Williams is writing the script, which will be developed for up-and-coming actor RJ Cyler to play Campbell in the film. Cyler played Earl in Me And Earl And The Dying Girl, and followed by playing the Blue Ranger in Lionsgate’s Power Rangers film, and more recently he plays a pivotal role in the Brad Pitt-starrer War Machine just released by Netflix. He’s currently filming White Boy Rick.
The Book of Luke is based on the memoir Book Of Luke: My Fight For Truth, Justice And Liberty City. Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey are producing with John Fischer overseeing the project for Temple Hill, and Mike Epps and Industry Entertainment exec producing. The film will tell a story that is Straight Outta Compton meets The People Vs. Larry Flynt, the rise of a provocative hip hop group and its envelope-pushing antics that got Campbell out of his poverty-stricken origins in Miami to become a millionaire and a galvanizing symbol of free speech.
Aside from the charisma he has shown in his work so far, you might say that Cyler was born to play this role: word is that his parents met at a 2 Live Crew concert. Cyler is repped by JLA Talent and Landis Simon Management.
Williams scripted Pandemonium, the story of WWE impresario Vince McMahon that Glenn Requa & John Ficarra are directing for TriStar, and also wrote Underdog. The scribe is repped by UTA and Aperture.