Director F. Gary Gray has officially become the highest-grossing black director of a single film in domestic sales, with his hit film Straight Outta Compton bringing in an estimated $157.5 million in the U.S. and Canada. Gray has surpassed Keenen Ivory Wayans’ classic Scary Movie, which raked in $157 million back in 2000, and Tim Story’s Fantastic Four which earned $154.6 million in 2005.
While Compton has yet to prove itself in the international box office, earning $24.9 million in foreign ticket sales – compared to Scary Movie which earned $121 million internationally, and Fantastic Four earned which $175.8 million in foreign sales – Straight Outta Compton is the only film in the bunch based on a true story that happens to be about hip-hop culture.
“There’s a humanity to the story that you wouldn’t normally associate with this genre of music,” Gray told Vice. “That was important to me. I want you to get to know the guys behind the tracks, behind the lyrics and beats, and get a sense of them as human beings. That’s what makes this special, because you can’t just google ‘N.W.A.’ and get these details.”
So, what’s next for Gray?
He’s says he’s not in a rush to do another biopic, but he tells TMZ that the one person who could change his mind about that is late singer Marvin Gaye. As the report notes, there have been several failed attempts to bring Gaye’s story to the big screen, one was even supposed to star Lenny Kravitz. Maybe Gray will use his ‘Compton’ clout to finally make a Marvin movie happen?
Meanwhile, Gray recently explained to Complex how he goes about choosing his projects.
“You know, it’s really simple for me. It’s all here. If I feel it, if it’s something I either want to learn or if it’s something I’m passionate about, then I’ll go for it. It’s just hard for me to find something that I really like, so sometimes I take the time off, take my time to really figure out what’s next. I love a challenge. So when I did Friday, I didn’t want to do another comedy back-to-back. With Set It Off, that was a little different from The Negotiator and The Italian Job. So for me, it’s all about challenge. It’s all about challenge and about just learning. I am very lucky in that my job, it takes me around the world and I get a chance to meet different people and learn different things.”
“’Straight Outta Compton'” is my first biopic. My first period piece and I got a chance to kind of get out there like some of my idols, you know like Scorsese, Spielberg, Spike Lee, the guys who came before me. You know, I’m feeling good about it.”
(Photo: PR Photos)