On Tuesday November 30, Raekwon published his memoir From Staircase to Stage: The Story of Raekwon and Wu-Tang Clan . In an excerpt published by Rolling Stone, he explains that the success of NWA’s Straight Outta Compton biopic hinges on telling the story of the Wu-Tang Clan on the big screen, but RZA had other plans.
Through A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip, Raekwon sat down with Leonardo DiCaprio to discuss the making of a movie.
“ We had a great time, eating pizza, telling stories, laughing and all that,” he explained. ” Then we started to talk about the possibility of a film on Wu-Tangand I told Leo that I would love to see him play a part in it, whatever he wanted to do. He talked about his production company and all the directors he thought could do a good job – and these were big names and people he had worked with. He was very open to the idea, and after that meal he asked the management of his production company to contact me. We have taken the next step with them. They were very interested, so we kicked off the project, talking about real numbers, with the goal of an even bigger release than Straight Outta Compton. “
Raekwon was eager to break the news to RZA that DiCaprio was ready to raise all the money for a movie – provided all Wu-Tang members were in on it. RZA agreed to meet with the leaders, but according to Raekwon he looked uncomfortable from the start. “I’ve known this guy for years and seen him act in all kinds of ways, and at that point, I saw him play a part,” he said. “ He sat down, he absorbed it all, he looked to see how far I could go. At the end of the meeting, without emotion, he just said, “Okay, I’ll get back to you,” and Leo’s people left. I sat there, index finger on temple, elbow on the armrest, leaning against the chair, staring at him. “
Raekwon tried to explain to RZA the importance of the opportunity before him and felt that they left the conversation on a positive note. They later held another meeting that could potentially close the deal.
But RZA’s attitude had changed.
“ He hardly said anything and seemed to be pretending, nothing more,” Raekwon said. “I felt he was not going to agree to do it, and my instincts told me why: I think he was already in the bed of a production company, in full development of the scripted series for the television, even though neither of us had agreed. “
RZA has apparently argued that a series would be a better way to tell their story, that it would be longer, and that streaming was the way to go rather than theaters. On the other hand, Raekwon was keen to direct a film backed by Leonardo DiCaprio. “Hollywood’s biggest talent is out of the question signing for a Wu-Tang TV show,” he told RZA. “But a great movie produced by Leo with a top director? Yes, they could. So stop pretending. “
Raekwon admitted he had tears in his eyes after leaving RZA that day, knowing that any possible deal was now on the water. “ This bullshit hurt me because it proved to me that he already counted me before I started,” he said . “He didn’t think I could bring that kind of power to the table, but I had brought them there, all ready to rock and roll. They were excited and connected, so with the snap of a finger, they could have ignited the powder for good. “