Hip-Hop Vet Bill Adler Reveals Details Behind Run-DMC Bio Pic

AllHipHop Staff

The story of pioneering Hip-Hop group Run-DMC will come to the big screen via Cheo Hodari Coker, the screenwriter behind recently-released biopic Notorious.

Coker is writing a screenplay about the group which is based off of Bill Adler’s critically acclaimed book Tougher Than Leather - The Rise of Run-DMC.

Adler, a veteran of the music business, entered the Hip-Hop journalism field in 1980. In 1984, he was hired a director of publicity for Russell Simmons’ Rush Artist Management.

Over the course of a six-year period, Adler worked with a who’s-who in Hip-Hop, including Run-DMC, LL Cool J., Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane, De La Soul, Kurtis Blow, The Beastie Boys, EPMD, Eric B. and Rakim, Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince and numerous others.

“I had been a journalist and music critic for 10 years by the time I started working at Def Jam in 1984,” Adler explained to AllHipHop.com. “It occurred to me that what Run-DMC had accomplished by the end of 1986 comprised a great story. So I took a brief leave of absence from Def Jam and wrote it [Tougher Than Leather]."

Adler’s original 208-page memoir was published in the Spring of 1987 under the title Tougher Than Leather: The Authorized Biography of Run-DMC.

The book eventually went out of print, but Adler republished the book himself under the title Tougher Than Leather: The Rise of Run-DMC.

The film will chronicle the creation of the group, as well as follow the lives of the groups individual members, including slain member Jam Master Jay.

Jay, born Jason "Jam Master Jay" Mizell, was violently murdered in a Queens recording studio in 2002.

“The Run-DMC story is a very inspirational tale about some young men from New York's black community in the early '80s and their friends and colleagues,” Adler said. “They're all deeply committed to this new Hip-Hop culture at a time when the rest of the music world denies that rap is even music. They refuse to compromise and, sure enough, their integrity pays off and they manage to turn the world around. In its own way, the Run-DMC story is like the Obama story 25 years later.”

The untitled film will be produced by Dallas Jackson for Davis Entertainment, an independent film company.

Both Coker and Adler hope to recreate the success of Notorious, the story of slain Brooklyn rapper Notorious B.I.G.

The movie grossed over $21 million dollars during its opening weekend in January.

“[The success of Notorious] means that Hollywood appreciates the financial success of Notorious and is willing to consider another story about a Hip-Hop icon,” Adler told AllHipHop.com. “It's been a generation since Krush Groove was made in 1985. Back then, the people in power in Hollywood didn't know a damn thing about Hip-Hop. Now, the people in power in Hollywood happen to have grown up on Hip-Hop. We haven't yet made a deal for the Run-DMC flick with a studio, but we're meeting with them now, and we're hopeful.”

At press time, casting has not yet begun on the film and no release date has been set.