O’Shea Jackson Jr. gave us life in 2015 when he played his father, Ice Cube, in the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton. Now he has a brand new role.
The 26-year-old actor will be stepping away from the hip-hop world and moving into the world of professional baseball. In the yet-to-be-titled biopic, Jackson will portray former Pittsburg Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis. In 1970, Ellis pitched a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres. Ten years later, it was revealed that Ellis accomplished that historical feat while high on LSD. Ellis admitted later that he had never pitched a game sober and afterward sought treatment for alcohol and drug addiction. He was an anti-drug crusader until his death in 2008.
During his 12 years in the major leagues, Ellis lived by the expression “Black is Beautiful!” He wore curlers on the field, and he stepped out of his Cadillac wearing the widest bell bottoms and the broadest collars. But when he put on his uniform, he was one of the most intimidating pitchers of the 1970s. He was often at the forefront of controversy and has been called the “Muhammad Ali of Baseball.” He was an outspoken leader of a new wave of civil rights in sports when Black athletes were no longer content to accept second-class treatment or keep their mouths shut about indignities. As a result, the press labeled him a militant.
There is no director set just yet for the film, but Jackson’s father, Ice Cube, is on board as producer. With this upcoming role, Jackson is setting the stage to become a truly formidable actor.
Photo Credit: Getty/Christopher Polk