In the 1990s, Dallas-born rap artist Vanilla Ice took over the world with his sensational hit, “Ice Ice Baby.” To this day, despite it’s one-hit wonder status, that song remains one of the most popular from that era and has cemented Vanilla Ice in the rap history vaults. Now, it looks like there's still enough interest around the rapper to warrant a biopic about his life.
In an interview with Insider on Wednesday (July 22), actor Dave Franco revealed that he has been cast as Vanilla Ice, born Rob Van Winkle, in a forthcoming biographical film.
“We have been in development for a while, but we are inching closer and closer to pre-production,” the 35-year-old told the outlet.
The film will be titled To the Extreme, deriving from the title of Ice’s debut album. According to the film’s description, the biopic will chronicle how Ice went “from a high school dropout selling cars in Dallas to having the first hip-hop single to top the Billboard charts with ‘Ice Ice Baby.’”
“Ice Ice Baby” spent 16 weeks at No. 1 on the charts in 1990 and 1991 upon its release. However, not without controversy, Vanilla Ice was highly criticised back in the day for his culture grabbing antics perpetuating a harder image than what was reality and lambasted for being a suburban kid who exploited rap music for his own benefits.
Production has not yet started for the film due to the coronavirus pandemic and a director has yet to be attached to the project. But, Franco told Insider that the production team behind the film is taking the same approach they did during the filming of 2017’s The Disaster Artist, a biopic that starred his older brother James Franco as actor/filmmaker Tommy Wiseau.
"With that movie, people expected us to make a broad comedy where we make fun of Tommy Wiseau, but the more real we played it, the funnier and heartfelt it was — that's the tone we want for this one as well," Franco said.
In the meantime, Franco says he has been collaborating with the very subject of the film itself. Vanilla Ice recently found himself in hot water after he attempted to throw a 4th of July concert in Texas before he ultimately called it off after backlash and fear of spreading the disease.
“Rob is such a sweet and intelligent guy and he's been super helpful in the process of getting all the details correct and making us privy to information the public doesn't know," Franco said. “Just talking to him I can't help but think about the rabbit holes I'm going to go down to get ready for the role.”
(Photo: The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)