Snoop Dogg: Biopic at Universal, with Director Allen (‘Menace II Society’ Hughes and ‘Wakanda Forever’ Writer Joe Robert Cole

The project will mark the inaugural film from Snoop’s Death Row Pictures.


Snoop is heavily involved with the project announced Wednesday, which will incorporate music from his past catalog. He is also producing the feature along with Sara Ramaker and Hughes. The project will mark the inaugural film from Snoop’s Death Row Pictures, which he runs with Ramaker.

Snoop, whose real name is Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr., shot to fame in the 1990s West Coast rap scene due to collaborations with Dr. Dre and then his one-two-punch albums, Doggystyle and The Doggfather. He parlayed that into a media and business empire, becoming an actor, DJ and media personality as well as an entrepreneur with ties to technology, global consumer brands, food and beverage industries, and, of course, the cannabis world.

With 35 million albums sold worldwide, he is a 17-time Grammy nominee, an American Music Award winner, and a Primetime Emmy Award winner. He has played himself in countless series and appeared in movies such as Training Day, Starsky & Hutch and this summer’s Jamie Foxx vampire action movie Day Shift.

“Snoop Dogg’s life and legacy makes him one of the most exciting and influential icons in popular culture,” stated Donna Langley, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. “We met with Snoop shortly after he acquired Death Row Records and had the opportunity to hear his story in his own words. We are humbled to be able to create the lasting document of this singular artist.”

Universal has had previous success tapping into rap culture with musical biopics focusing on key artists. In 2015, it released Straight Outta Compton, centered on the West Coast hip-hop scene and N.W.A, the seminal group that Dr. Dre was a part of. The film grossed over $200 million and earned an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay. With 2002’s 8 Mile, it told a thinly veiled autobiographical story of Eminem and his rise in an industry and genre dominated by Black artists. That movie grossed over $250 million and won the Oscar for best original song with “Lose Yourself.”

Hughes and his brother, both born in Detroit and raised in Southern California, made their names by telling stories of the Black experience with Menace and Dead Presidents at the same time as Snoop was making his rise. In 2017, he tackled the music scene by directing The Defiant Ones, the award-winning four-part HBO documentary focused on Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine.

“Snoop Dogg is one of the most internationally beloved figures in hip-hop,” states Hughes. “There’s just something about his energy that brings people of all walks of life together. Snoop Dogg, not just the artist, but the man and his brand, has transcended generations with his connection and appeal to audiences. His story is so authentic and utterly inspiring, and to have the opportunity to tell his story allows me to go back to the hood 30 years after Menace II Society, and say more now than I could then.”

Cole is a generation younger than Snoop and Hughes and grew up influenced by their work as he made his mark as a screenwriter. He’s notably worked with Ryan Coogler on the two Black Panther movies as well as being a writer-producer on the Emmy-winning FX series American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson; he received an Emmy nomination for writing the episode “The Race Card.”

“I’ve been a fan of Snoop since Deep Cover,” says Cole. “His music and the films of Allen Hughes have left an indelible mark on me over my life.  What excites me most is the humanity of Snoop’s journey to international icon. Universal has proven they can guide a movie like this to something special. I’m proud to be a part of the team.”