Ice Cube's 'Chrome And Paint' to get the Disney treatment. Should the studio go gritty?

Ice-Cube

Image Credit: Ken McCoy/PR Photos

One doesn’t often associate Disney with gritty. Traumatizing, sure (killing Bambi’s mother and Old Yeller, Rick Moranis justabout eating his own children in Honey, I Shrunk The Kids… need we go on?) but rarely defiant and brazen.

So when it was announced that Disney picked up Ice Cube’s Chrome and Paint, a movie that, The Hollywood Reporter explained, was supposed to be about “South Central L.A., as a hardcore R-rated movie where young people die in drive-bys,” the proverbial record came to a screeching halt. Was it possible that the folks over at Disney were going to try to head in a new direction? Was Ice Cube, who will produce, co-write and star the film — which is based off a line from a song in his 2006 album Laugh Now, Cry Later — going to infuse some hip-hop into a Randy Newman-friendly world?

Not exactly. While Cube has certainly made the foray into lighter fare over the past few years (for every Boyz n the Hood and Three Kings, a little Are We There Yet? must fall), Disney seems to be sticking to their same format. The new formula for the movie will reportedly revolve around a fatherless teen (trauma!) who begins to rebuild a car that belonged to his dad. Ice Cube will play a friend of the father who helps out and, along the way, the two begin to heal from the loss. (Disney could not be reached for comment regarding the project.)

While the Pirates of the Caribbean series have always toyed with the line, this would have marked the first actual R-rated project for Disney. But, is even necessary for Disney to change what has worked for them for so many years? Sure, it could have made them “edgier” to make Chrome and Paint as it was originally intended, but unlike the car in the movie, if it ain’t broke…

Under the assumption we don’t actually see the kid’s dad die in the film, Disney has been pretty good in years past with inspirational live-action flicks. Movies like The Rookie and Invincible had enough to keep kids interested, all while their accompanying parent or guardian maintained that it was just something in their eye. While it would have been interesting — and jarring, to say the least — to see the Disney name attached to something so very un-Disney, here’s to hoping the project, under its new direction, doesn’t stall out. After all, we need to save some automobile puns for Cars 2.

What do you think of this news, PopWatchers? Do you wish Disney had gone with Chrome and Paint‘s original route, or are you glad they aren’t changing their M.O.?


Comments (10 total) Add your comment
  • K

    I don’t know about this movie in particular, but I can’t see Disney ever going R-rated, not even for a good message. They’re too invested in being a family brand, a company that parents can just automatically assume will provide family friendly entertainment without worrying about language or nudity or whatever taboos parents might worry about having to talk to their kids about. I think that’s kind of a good thing. There’s plenty of other studios out there who produce grittier stuff. From a business standpoint, Disney would do better to maintain their brand the way it is, and from a customer service standpoint, they will provide better service to their customers by not changing anything. I imagine many busy, tired parents just want to show their kids a movie without having to worry about sitting them down to explain something potentially complicated and awkward like what a virgin is, the way my mom did when I was reading Madeleine L’Engle books back in the day and first encountered the word (outside of uses like “The Virgin Mary” that I heard so often it didn’t even attract my notice as a kid). So while I don’t know if Disney was the right studio for this particular movie, I do think that their decision to soften it up a bit is right for them.

  • Lat

    Couldn’t this movie be release via Touchstone if it is going to be R rated?

    • l

      If Disney’s making the film, then it is probably going to be released under the Touchstone Pictures brand. An R-rated Disney movie is too risky.

    • K

      Ahhh, I forgot about Touchstone. I bet “I” is right.

  • Well Then

    Funny how Disney is trying to be all PC about what they put out..yet how many of their stars have ended up cracked out…pregnant at 16…all over the tabloids with their “accidental” crotch shots and they are worried about making a movie about drivebys that happen EVERY DAY in the real world…sad to me how they try to be this perfect brand when we DONT live in a perfect world why not show that in your movies instead of everyone living “happily ever after”…

    • hmm

      LOL well I get what you’re going for, but you can’t compare kids getting pregnant too soon or flashing their nekkid bits to people getting GUNNED DOWN in their homes or on the street. Those are two very different levels of trauma.

  • Ernest De Brew

    I hope that the movie is approved. Ice Cube, keep on going.

  • Miss Talk

    Ask Ashley Judd. Isn’t she a know-it-all when it comes to rappers?

  • katy

    Three Kings was 10 years ago. Ice Cube doesn’t do “gritty” anymore.

    • jake

      lol listen to i am the west 2010 pretty gritty

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