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Nick Cannon — the host of America's Got Talent — has been hand-picked for the role of drug lord “Freeway” Ricky Ross in the biopic directed and written by Nick Cassavetes.
Hollywood Reporter picked up the story on Monday, reporting that Ross and Cannon announced their collaboration in a Youtube video. In the video Cannon says, “We’re family now. We’ve got to get this thing right however long it takes. This story’s got to be told.”
The story details Ross’s run as kingpin of the Los Angeles drug trade, hustling his way from a modest beginning in the early 1980s, to becoming one of America’s most notorious drug lords, as well as his subsequent downfall and incarceration in 1996. At his height, Ross trafficked multiple millions of dollars’ worth of cocaine as far as the east coast.
The former kingpin told AllHipHop.com that he himself chose Cannon for the role because of his younger age. Ross also revealed that he had his sights on this particular actor since Cannon was 16 years old. “Nick is a guy who captures my character when I was in custody in San Diego.”
According to AllHipHop.com, the currently untitled biopic will be a candid glimpse into America’s drug problem; Ross vows not to glorify the trade or his lifestyle, claiming that this is not a vanity piece, but an attempt to “show how the War on Drugs took young kids and turned them into criminals and set them for prison practically over night”
Cannon expressed his gratitude for the role on Twitter saying, “I will dedicate all that I have inside me to this role.”