Dave Franco confirmed in a recent interview with Insider that he will be playing Vanilla Ice in an upcoming biopic titled To The Extreme, the title of the rapper's 1990 debut album. Franco's name has been attached to the lead role since early last year, but the 35-year-old actor is only now providing details regarding the film.
"We have been in development for a while but we are inching closer and closer to preproduction," Franco said of the project, which is currently without a firm start date due to the pandemic. Franco is aiming for the tone of To The Extreme to be comparable to his brother James' portrayal of Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist. Chris Goodwin and Phillip Van are writing the script.
"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," Franco said.
Born Robert Matthew Van Winkle, Vanilla Ice skyrocketed to fame with the 1990 song "Ice Ice Baby," which spent 16 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. He parlayed the success of the track into the release of To The Extreme, selling over 15 million copies worldwide. The biopic is expected to chronicle his life "from a high school dropout selling cars in Dallas to having the first hip-hop single to top the Billboard charts," while also exploring his "struggles with stardom, extortion attempts, and selling out as he makes music history."
While Vanilla Ice was never able to come close to matching the triumph that was "Ice Ice Baby," he has since succeeded in transitioning his career over to the real estate and home renovation space. "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," Franco said of their phone calls together. "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 is making his directorial debut with The Rental, which will be available On Demand and at select drive-in theaters on Friday.