Rapper Ice Cube will play Fagin in a new musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist.
The former NWA star will also co-produce the film, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Thomas Kail, who won a Tony award for directing the Broadway hit musical Hamilton, will make his film directing debut.
Oliver Twist is the story of an orphan who falls in with a gang of pickpockets in Victorian London, led by the wicked Fagin. It was adapted into a stage musical in 1960 and turned into a successful film in 1968, winning five Oscars, including best picture and best director for Carol Reed.
The new film, which is being made by Disney, will reportedly be a modern treatment of the story and will include several different musical genres, including hip-hop.
The story has been adapted for the screen many other times, including once by Disney in the 1988 animation Oliver & Company, in which the principal characters are cats and dogs.
Ice Cube rose to fame as part of the Los Angeles rap group NWA, who were profiled in last year’s biopic Straight Outta Compton. He is also lined up to play another of Dickens’s best-known characters, Ebenezer Scrooge, in an adaptation of A Christmas Carol.