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Straight Outta Compton’s Corey Hawkins joins the cast of Kong: Skull Island

The N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton is generating quite a bit of positive buzz ahead of its wide release next week, and that attention is leading to some additional opportunities for its talented cast of up-and-coming actors. This week, the actor who plays Dr. Dre in Straight Outta Compton, Corey Hawkins, was added to the already impressive cast of Legendary Films’ upcoming creature feature Kong: Skull Island.

Hawkins is reportedly in final negotiations to join the cast of Skull Island, which is expected to be a King Kong prequel of sorts, unfolding on the mysterious island full of monsters where the giant ape is discovered. Variety reports that the exact role Hawkins would play in the film is uncertain at this point, but if negotiations pan out, he’ll join previously announced cast members Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers) and Brie Larson (21 Jump Street) in the film.

Directed by The Kings of Summer filmmaker Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Kong: Skull Island is based on a script initially penned by Godzilla screenwriter Max Borenstein and later revised by Oscar-nominated Flight screenwriter John Gatins. Little is known about the plot of the film other than its status as a prequel to King Kong set on Skull Island.

While Hawkins’ potential role in the film remains a mystery, the former stage actor has been quickly making a name for himself in Hollywood. After making his Broadway debut as Tybalt in the revival of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in 2013, Hawkins was confirmed as one of several new cast members joining AMC’s zombie drama The Walking Dead for its upcoming sixth season. The actor’s role was identified as Heath, a character that plays a major role in The Walking Dead comic book series.

Hawkins’ portrayal of Dr. Dre in Straight Outta Compton is regarded as one of the widely praised biopic’s breakout performances.

Straight Outta Compton hits theaters August 14. Kong: Skull Island is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters March 10, 2017.