Ice Cube talks ‘A-Team’

Aug. 01, 2008 | 9:22 p.m.

Cubescowl_3There are some TV-show remakes that work beyond your wildest dreams (who knew that “Battlestar Galactica” could be “The Sopranos” of science-fiction?) and others just make you wonder how many Hollywood executives got fired (“Bewitched” and “The Mod Squad” spring to mind). Here’s one that just sounds great, at least to me: Director John Singleton wants to take on the Reagan-era show “A-Team” and update it, making the fugitive commando team all veterans of the war in Iraq.

The grizzled Bruce Willis is in mind for the role of Col. Hannibal Smith (portrayed by George Peppard in the old NBC series) while Woody Harrelson would be wingnut pilot “Howlin’ Mad” Murdock (played by scene-stealer Dwight Shultz in the original). And what about the role of the scowling Sgt. Bosco “B.A.” Baracus, made famous by the gold-laden Mr. T?

The answer is clear, at least according to Ice Cube, the rap icon and Hollywood heavyweight.

“Man, I am so ready to play ‘B.A.’ Baracus. I was a big, big Mr. T fan. I mean, c’mon, Clubber Lang [in “Rocky III”) was amazing. I even watched his Saturday morning show, but that was cheesy. I was like everybody else, I watched it for about six weeks and said, ‘Man this isn’t any good.’ But the ‘A-Team,’ I would love for this to happen.”

Cube told me all this earlier today when I dropped by a bunker-like studio near the Burbank airport where we talked about the 20th anniversary of “Straight Outta Compton” for an upcoming article in The Times. Eventually, the subject eventually turned to his upcoming film plans — or should I say his lack of upcoming plans. Like everyone in Hollywood right now, Cube is in a holding pattern with the threatened Screen Actors Guild strike.

Ateam_6 “Everything is in limbo,” said the 39-year-old star, but he added that his movie priority would be working again with Singleton and making the A-Team a gritty new action film. “I really want it to happen and it’s the thing we’ve been talking about lately, the thing on the other side of the strike or no-strike. I think it could be great. I always look at how they did ‘Mission: Impossible’ and even how they upgraded Batman from what it was not that long ago. The key is the story and the director.”

It’s interesting to think back to the sneering thug that Cube played in his breakout role as Doughboy in Singleton’s searing 1991 film “Boyz N the Hood.” How much of his mad-dog stare was borrowed from his mohawked hero?

I’m guessing that “A-Team” films moves forward because Hollywood dearly loves projects with nostalgic titles, high-concept plots and a few layers of cinematic credibility; Singleton’s presence would bring the latter and give the project a sort of “Three Kings” for the homefront feel. So the next big question: Will Cube’s bad-attitude commando actually show up on screen wearing gold chains by the pound?

“I don’t know about that,” Cube said, chuckling. “But, you know maybe at the end after they get all the money. I could walk out and look at the other guys and say, ‘What do you think, y’all like this look?’ We could play it for fun.”

– Geoff Boucher

Photo: Ice Cube; Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Photo of the NBC show “The A-Team,” cast members Dirk Benedict, Mr. T and George Peppard, from the Los Angeles Times archive.

UPDATE: May the ghost of Apollo Creed, forgive me! Somehow, don’t ask me how, in an early version of this post, I typed “Rocky II” instead of “Rocky III.” (Thanks to the reader who caught it. And by the way, to answer your question, I’m the same age as Cube.)

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Comments


11 Responses to Ice Cube talks ‘A-Team’

  1. Slipstream says:

    Mr. T will always be my favorite no matter what happens. He has not done a major role for years yet everyone still knows who he is and I even have him as a voice download on my GPS that I got from Navtones.com
    I'm sure Ice-Cube would do a good job but I think he will be forgotten and always compared to the one and only Mr. T. I mean he can not even try to imitate Mr. T, he would have to be his own character.

  2. James Woods says:

    OMG I would LOVE to see a new A-Team Movie but ONLY if Mr T still plays BA. Nobody can pull off Mr T but Mr T.
    JT <a href="http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com” target=”_blank”>www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  3. rawdeluxe says:

    cool

  4. BSG Fan says:

    They should get Katee Sackhoff to play Face. :-)

  5. ca barocos says:

    … It was Rocky III … how old are the writers with the Times? 22?

  6. Davy Getzel says:

    Sorry Cube, you're just not ripped enough to be BA – and steroids won't magically add any height. Terry Crews (Pres. Camacho from Idiocracy) on the other hand, has the physique and is the best face actor in the business. He is literally larger than life! He HAS to be BA!! http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0187719/

  7. masterpuff theater says:

    What? A story about the A-team? Genius! We'll be rich I tell you….Forget all those original and brilliant screenplays waiting to be made, lets make a movie out of a two bit camp TV show that basically made no sense and no one under 35 even remembers. Hows that "Get Smart" remake doing at the box office?

  8. Bob7 says:

    Do you want to know why the Los Angeles Times is dying? This story is a prime example. Ice Cube is trying to hype his way into a part on a movie that's going into production, and already has a release date next summer.
    Singleton is 'thinking about making the A Team'??????????
    The reporter is clueless, obviously has never heard of the IMDB, and has no right to be writing about the movie business. Do you realize how stupid this makes the LA Times look?

  9. Geoff Boucher says:

    Bob thanks for your, uh, thoughtful comments. On that IMDB page you mention, by the way, ICE CUBE IS ALREADY LISTED AS THE B.A. CHARACTER. Doesn't seem like he need to be "hyping" his way in on my blog, does it?
    There's no way the film is coming out next summer, by the way, and that date on IMDB will be changing shortly. Due to the strike, they don't even have a date set to start shooting. But as an industry insider I'm sure you knew that.
    As for the L.A. Times dying, well not on the Internet we're not. We just hit 130+ million hits in a month. And you accounted for a few of them, so thanks!!

  10. Robert says:

    Quinton RAMPAGE Jackson is in the Running to play BA

  11. CN says:

    He should have gotten it! My friends and I were lamenting about him not playing Mr. T just yesterday!

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