Raekwon Reveals Why RZA Rejected A Wu-Tang Biopic From Leonardo DiCaprio

Raekwon Reveals Why RZA Rejected A Wu-Tang Biopic From Leonardo DiCaprio

The Wu-Tang Clan origin story is currently being told in television form with the Hulu show Wu-Tang: An American Saga, which was recently renewed for a third and final season. But the influential hip-hop group could have been the subject of a biopic film that was produced by Leonardo DiCaprio.

In a new excerpt from the memoir From Staircase To Stage: The Story Of Raekwon And Wu-Tang Clan, which was just published on Rolling Stone, Raekwon recalls that he was inspired by the success of N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton film and wanted to pursue a movie with DiCaprio, but that he was shut down by RZA because he desired a multi-season TV series.

Raekwon says that he was introduced to DiCaprio, a big Wu-Tang fan, through A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip, and that they met DiCaprio “and his then-girlfriend out in Brooklyn at an old mafioso-looking pizza spot near Sunset Park that Leo loves.”

“We had a great time, eating pizza, telling stories, laughing and shit,” Raekwon continued. “Then we started talking about the possibility of a Wu-Tang movie and I told Leo I’d love to see him play a role in it, anything he wanted to do. […] He talked about his production company and all the directors he thought might do a great job — and these were big names and people he’d worked with.”

But even after Raekwon and RZA attended multiple meetings with DiCaprio’s production company, RZA ended up shutting the deal down. “RZA’s energy was entirely different,” Raekwon wrote of what would be their last meeting with the company. “He barely said anything and seemed to be going through the motions, nothing more. I could tell he wasn’t going to agree to do it, and my instincts told me why: my guess is that he was already in bed with a production company, deep into developing the scripted series for TV, even though none of us had signed off on it.”

“This bullshit hurt my feelings because it proved to me that he’d already counted me out before I began,” Raekwon wrote. “He didn’t think I could bring that kind of power to the table, but I’d gotten them there, all ready to rock and roll. They were excited and connected, so with the snap of a finger they could have gotten the ball rolling for real.”

But, alas, Wu-Tang: An American Saga went ahead at Hulu. Raekwon’s memoir From Staircase to Stage: The Story of Raekwon and Wu-Tang Clan is out now via Simon & Schuster.

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