The actor who played drug vigilante Omar Little in TV series The Wire is to take on the role of Ol’ Dirty Bastard in a film. Plans are moving ahead for Dirty White Boy, a movie based on the late and notorious rapper, starring the Baltimore crime drama’s Michael K. Williams.
Dirty White Boy focuses not just on ODB, born Russell Jones, but also on Jarred Weisfeld, the titular white boy, who met the musician when he was a 22-year-old VH1 production assistant. Weisfeld gradually became ODB’s manager, Entertainment Weekly reports, engineering the rapper’s comeback. His plan was cut short by Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s fatal drug overdose in November 2004.
Williams’s casting comes courtesy of first-time director Joaquín Baca-Asay, best known as the cinematographer for Jay-Z’s 99 Problems music video. To play Wu-Tang’s most erratic member, the actor will have to seriously overhaul his look: Williams is currently starring in the prohibition-era series Boardwalk Empire, playing dapper gangster Chalky White.
The film’s screenplay was written by Brent Hoff, with backing from Weisfeld – whom Hoff knew at VH1 – and Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s mother, Cherry Jones. The producers are allegedly hunting for Dirty White Boy’s other principal lead.
Earlier this month, webzine Grantland picked Omar as The Wire’s greatest character.