The actor/director spoke to Insider about the role, noting that the project has been in development for some time and is “inching closer and closer to preproduction.” COVID-19 has put a halt to any kind of film production, and the uncertainty of when they can actually begin filming has forced Franco to do his research not by listening to or watching Vanilla Ice (real name Rob Van Winkle) albums and films, but instead by having phone calls with the rapper himself.
“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,” he 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.”
If executed well, the youngest Franco said, it could be comparable to older brother James‘ 2017 hit The Disaster Artist. ”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,” he explained.
The biopic is named after Vanilla Ice’s debut album and was subtly announced in 2019 with trade publication Production Weekly giving a longline that read, “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,’ a young Vanilla Ice struggles with stardom, extortion attempts, and selling out as he makes music history.”
Elsewhere in entertainment, Avatar: The Legend of Korra is coming to Netflix.