Title: Donuts Played by: Illa J Directed by: Wes Anderson
As one of the most beloved heroes of hip-hop, Jay Dee a.k.a. J Dilla has a storied career that's ready for a big screen adaptation. Although his life was tragically cut short at age 32 by a rare blood disease, he touched the lives of so many artists around him, and continues to inspire today's emcees and producers, even if they never had the chance to meet him. Famously known as a warm-hearted recluse, the film would center more around the work as opposed to the usually biopic formula of delving into an artist's personal life.
Every pivotal stage of the film would be represented by a beat crafted by Jay Dee, spanning from him meeting fellow Slum Village members T3 and Baatan in high school, to his work with the Pharcyde and A Tribe Called Quest in the mid nineties, and his inclusion in the Soulquarian collective, spearheaded by Questlove. Just as Dilla had concealed hidden messages to his loved ones into beats on his posthumous album Donuts, in the film his beats will set the tone of each scene. Jay Dee was always one to let his work speak for him, and never the type to showboat. Donuts should be a beautifully subtle cinematic experience.
Playing Jay Dee would be none other than his own little brother, Illa J. Illa J may know more about Dilla than almost anyone else in the world, and he would bring an unmatchable amount of authenticity to the role.
As for the director, the story requires a vision that is both profoundly human and wonderfully abstract, and Wes Anderson could handle that magnificently.