Def Jam Records
Title: Def Jam, Inc. Russell Simmons played by: Chiwetel Ejiofor Rick Rubin played by: Jared Leto Directed by: Michel Gondry
With films like Cadillac Records and CBGB chronicling the origins of pivotal movements in music, it's shocking that there hasn't been a film on the house that Russell and Rick built. From the the humble beginnings of Rick Rubin's NYU dorm room to the astronomic rise of Run DMC and the successes of LL Cool J, Public Enemy, and the Beastie Boys, the film would span the '80s and be an especially satisfying ride for hip-hop nerds everywhere. Jared Leto would be perfect as a young Rick Rubin, with the right mix of gruff and zen, while Chiwetel Ejiofor would be a great fit as Russell Simmons, circa 1984. The film could even cover Russell's well known use of cocaine and angel dust, including how, while on a dust-induced high, he came up with the concept for Run DMC's smash "My Adidas"…while backstage at the Live Aid benefit concert. Yup.
For directing duties, I elect french director Michel Gondry, whose signature imaginative style would suit the 1980s backdrop of the early Def Jam years perfectly. Gondry's filmmaking roots are in music video directing, so the project would be a great fit. He's displayed his love of hip-hop with Dave Chappelle's Block Party, and his gift for empathetic storytelling with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Hip-hop needs a monumental biopic. A This is Spinal Tap. An Almost Famous. A film that can show audiences worldwide the larger-than-life electricity that hip-hop culture has embodied since day one.