Hamilton director Thomas Kail is updating Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist for a new, hip-hop–infused Disney musical. Iconic rapper/actor Ice Cube will play Fagin, the predatory adult who turns kids into pickpockets in London. Cube is also co-producing and co-writing the script treatment with Jeff Kwatinetz, whose production credits include Black Knight and this year's Barbershop: The Next Cut.
Interestingly enough, it was announced a year ago that Ice Cube will play Ebenezer Scrooge, the antihero of yet another Dickens work, in a new A Christmas Carol movie called Humbug.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter the new Oliver Twist movie won't just take notes from hip-hop but will be "crossing many genres." "The popular story was already adapted by Disney as an animated movie, 1988’s Oliver and Company," THR writes. "But perhaps the biggest impact on popular culture has been through the never-ending iterations of the stage musical Oliver!" The stage adaptation debuted on London's West End in 1960 and hit Broadway two years later.
Cube's latest film work has included a pair of Ride Along flicks and a pair of Jump Streets. In addition to Hamilton, Thomas Kail directed Lin-Manuel Miranda's also-very-celebrated In the Heights, plus this year's Grease Live! on Fox.
Watch a 2012 Fuse interview with Ice Cube next: