Like it or not, we’re getting a Vanilla Ice biopic. It’s called To the Extreme, and it will star Dave Franco as Robert Matthew Van Winkle, AKA Vanilla Ice, who was something of a big deal in the 1990s, with his song “Ice Ice Baby” ending up the first hip hop single to top the Billboard charts. Unfortunately for Vanilla Ice, it all eventually came crashing down.
Speaking with Insider, Dave Franco revealed he’s playing Vanilla Ice in the biopic To the Extreme (which is also the name of Vanilla Ice’s 1990 album that featured “Ice Ice Baby”). “We have been in development for a while but we are inching closer and closer to preproduction,” Franco said. “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. 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.”
Franco also compared the project to The Disaster Artist, the film he co-starred in about Tommy Wiseau and the making of the infamous so-bad-it’s-good movie The Room: “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.”
With a script written by Chris Goodwin and Phillip Van, To the Extreme “centers on the rise of the rapper (whose real name is Robert Van Winkle) 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.”
I remember Vanilla Ice being a huge deal when I was a kid, and I also remember his career pretty much collapsing not long after, but not before he made his own movie – the 1991 movie Cool As Ice – and appeared in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. Beyond that, though, I’ll admit to not knowing much about Mr. Van Winkle, save for his attempt at a comeback with a rap-metal album. The casting of Franco as Vanilla Ice is an overall good idea – he resembles the rapper, and he can turn in a memorable performance. All in all, this sounds like a film to watch out for.
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