If upon hearing the words “to the extreme” your first response is “I rock a mic like a vandal/light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle,” I’m sorry to inform you that you may be a devotee of Vanilla Ice’s one-hit wonder Ice Ice Baby. But I’m also here to tell you that it’s okay. Ice Ice Baby is a very catchy and enjoyable song, and if it puts you in a comfy nostalgic place, please go ahead and give word to your mother in the name of Vanilla Ice.
To The Extreme is also the title of the upcoming Vanilla Ice biopic, proving that Hollywood will really make a glowing dramatisation of any old musician these days. But this project seems to be working more in the vein of the lovingly mocking The Disaster Artist than your Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman movies, and it’s even been confirmed to star talent from the very same Franco family as that Tommy Wiseau biopic, Dave Franco has been confirmed to play Vanilla Ice, real name Robert Van Winkle.
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In an interview with Insider, the younger Franco alluded to the similiarities between The Disaster Artist, in which he played Wiseau’s right-hand man Greg Sestero, and the upcoming Vanilla Ice film: “With that movie, people expected us to make a broad comedy where we make fun of Tommy Wiseau, but the more real we played it, the funnier and heartfelt it was—that’s the tone we want for this one as well.”
The project was one of 2018’s most buzzed-about unproduced screenplays on the script database The Blacklist, and its vague plot description so far seems to confirm that the movie might manage to make a loveable underdog out of one of the nineties’ biggest rap punching bags. It reads as follows:
“From a high school dropout selling used cars in Dallas to having the first hip hop single to top the Billboard charts with Ice Ice Baby, a young Vanilla Ice struggles with stardom, extortion attempts, and selling out as he makes music history.”
It’s worth noting here that the real Vanilla Ice is of course no stranger to movie vehicles for his unique persona and style; 1991’s Cool As Ice saw the MC leaping over fences on his quad bike and sneering at his unavailable love interest to ‘drop that zero and get with the hero’. The above trailer should give you some sense of the pre-millenium white boy braggadocio that Vanilla Ice still exemplifies, raising the question of just how comfortable Ice himself must be with an upcoming film all set to make him look vulnerable, real, and maybe even a bit cringeworthy.
But Franco has assured that the real Van Winkle gave the actor his blessing for the upcoming part. Insider has reported that Franco called “Rob” a “sweet and intelligent guy”, applauding him for being “super helpful in the process of getting all the details correct and making us privy to information the public doesn’t know…Just talking to him I can’t help but think about the rabbit holes I’m going to go down to get ready for the role.” Word to your mother.