Raekwon released his new record From Staircase to Stage: The Story of Raekwon and Wu-Tang Clan on November 30. In a part published by Rolling Stone, he said that he wanted to include the Wu-Tang clan’s story in the success of N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton biopic. He explained that he wanted to see the Wu-Tang Clan’s story on the big screen.
Through A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip, Raekwon met up with Leonardo DiCaprio at a pizza spot in Brooklyn to discuss making a film. Raekwon looked excited about the fact that DiCaprio was ready to raise all the money for a movie. Raekwon couldn’t wait to pass on his excitement to RZA.
“We had a great time, eating pizza, telling stories, laughing and shit,” he explained. “Then we started talking about the possibility of a Wu-Tang movie and I told Leo I’d love to see him play a role in it, anything he wanted to do. He talked about his production company and all the directors he thought might do a great job — and these were big names and people he’d worked with.” “He was super open to the idea, and after that meal, he had his production company executives reach out to me. We took it to the next level with them. They were very interested, so we got the ball rolling, talking real numbers, with the goal of an even bigger release than Straight Outta Compton.”
RZA agreed to meet with executives but looked uncomfortable from the get-go. Raekwon said, “I’ve known the guy for years and seen him act all kinds of ways, and in that moment, I saw him playing a role. He sat there, taking it in, watching to see how far I could get. At the end of the meeting, without emotion, he just said, ‘Okay, I’ll get back to you,’ and Leo’s people left. I sat there with my index finger to my temple, elbow on my armrest, leaning back in the chair, staring at him.”
Raekwon tried to explain to RZA how big of an opportunity he felt it was. In an another meeting Raekwon sensed RZA’s attitude and knew that the deal is off.
“He barely said anything and seemed to be going through the motions, nothing more. I could tell he wasn’t going to agree to do it, and my instincts told me why: my guess is that he was already in bed with a production company, deep into developing the scripted series for TV, even though none of us had signed off on it.”
RZA argued a series would be a better way to tell their story. It would be around longer and that streaming was the way to go rather than movie theaters. On the other hand, Raekwon had his heart set on a Leonardo DiCaprio-backed film.
Raekwon admitted that RZA’s attitude hurt his feelings. He felt as if RZA has already counted him out and that he didn’t expect Raekwon to do something big. Raekwon said that a big opportunity is going away from them. Raekwon had tears in his eyes after leaving RZA that day. What could have been, but it never happened…