F. Gary Gray Joins Hollywood's Billionaire Boys Club

F. Gary Gray Joins Hollywood's Billionaire Boys Club

Straight Outta Compton is top-grossing film ever by a Black director.

Published November 4, 2015

This summer’s box office hit Straight Outta Compton is on track to gross more than $200 million worldwide, making the F. Gary Gray-directed biopic the top-grossing film ever by a Black director. Gray beat out Tim Story’s Fantastic Four back in 2005 with $154.6 million, and Keenen Ivory Wayan’s Scary Movie, which brought $157 million in 2000.

The N.W.A. biopic was co-signed by legends such as Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, and earned both critical acclaim and major box office dollars. Dr. Dre even released an accompanying soundtrack album — his first LP in 16 years — inspired by the film just before it's release in August.

But success attracts lawsuits, and Straight Outta Compton is no exception: former N.W.A. manager Jerry Heller, played by Paul Giamatti in the film, hit Cube, Dr. Dre, and the estate of Eazy-E with a $110 million lawsuit claiming his portrayal in the movie was defamatory, and he had not granted permission to use his likeness in the film.

Still, Gray and the other filmmakers behind Straight Outta Compton are basking in its success, and focusing on potential Oscar nominations (the studio behind the biopic recently launched an awards campaign for the film). Check out our interview with the A-list director, below:

(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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Written by Evelyn Diaz

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