Ice Cube has signed on to star in a new Disney adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beloved Oliver Twist.
The Ride Along actor has teamed up with Tommy Kail, the Tony Award-winning director of Broadway smash Hamilton, for a modern take on the literary classic.
Veteran movie producers Marc Platt and Jeff Kwatinetz will produce alongside Ice Cube, who is attached to play thief mentor Fagin – the role portrayed by Ron Moody in the 1968 Carol Reed movie musical Oliver!
Ice Cube and Kwatinetz are also developing the script for the new film, which will feature a hip hop soundtrack.
Director Kail collaborated with Lin-Manuel Miranda on the rapper-composer’s musicals In the Heights and Hamilton.
Author Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist was first published as a serial in 1837, telling the story of a young orphan boy who leaves child labour behind to befriend a gang of London pickpockets, helmed by Fagin.
This new version will be the second Disney reimagining of the tale after 1988’s animated movie Oliver and Company, featuring a cartoon cat in the title role. Oliver! has also become a big hit on the stage, with countless Broadway and West End adaptations over the years.
Musician Ice Cube, who appeared in Ride Along 2 and Barbershop: A Fresh Cut this year (16), is also lined up to play Ebenezer Scrooge in the upcoming Humbug, a contemporary retelling of Dickens’ classic story A Christmas Carol, which tells of a wealthy man who is shown a path to redemption by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.