A biopic documenting the life of Death Row Records co-founder Marion “Suge” Knight is currently in the works after the incarcerated mogul struck an agreement with producer Steve Whitney and TSW films to sign over his life rights.
The script for the film will be written by Nick Cassavetes and Anthony Thorne. Knight, who is currently incarcerated at RJ Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego, spoke on what spurred him to jump on board in support of the biopic.
“Over the last 30 years, there has been so much talk about Compton, me, the inner cities, and Death Row—A lot of talk,” Knight told Deadline. “Even when it comes to making my movie there has been so many imposters saying they have my rights, or they got the deal—that was, and is, all talk.” The 56-year-old continued, “I jumped off the porch in my neighborhood at a young age but never forgot where I came from. Most people try to ride for the hills, I made it and tried to bring as many people to the hills with me and feel that I was successful at it.”
Knight also hinted at the circumstances behind the rift between himself and former drug kingpin Michael “Harry-O” Harris, who claims to have provided the seed money to launch Death Row Records. “I met a guy named Mike Klein that was with Ruthless. David Kenner was on the phone with Michael Harris and they took a meeting with Jerry Heller and during [the] process of taking that meeting, they were trying to sell [Dr.] Dre back to Ruthless behind my back,” he recalled. “Mike Klein told me about it and I respect him for it—We became friends. So when it came time to do a real movie and tell the truth about it he introduced me to Steve Whitney. Now, Steve, Mike, and I, and the woman that has my back, are making this movie. Taking it to the next level!”
Knight is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence after pleading no contest to voluntary manslaughter in the fatal hit-and-run accident that killed Terry Carter and seriously injured filmmaker Cle Sloan. He will be eligible for parole in July 2037.