A Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel biopic made headlines this week

Fifteen years after ”The Message” changed the pop-music landscape by bringing socially conscious rap to the mainstream, a biopic on rap pioneers Joseph Saddler and Melvin Glover — a.k.a. Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel, respectively — is in the works. The feature is being developed by Hoop Dreams impresarios Steve James and Peter Gilbert, who will jointly write and direct. ”It’s the tale of two kids from the South Bronx who end up creating a billion-dollar industry,” says producer Jonathan Brandstein (The War at Home). ”It’s a classic underdog story.” Saddler, musical director of The Chris Rock Show, and Glover, at work on an album, will serve as consultants. ”It’s great to know that someone’s interested in my story,” says Saddler, who’s apprehensive about seeing his drug history detailed on screen (he says he’s overcome the cocaine problem that plagued him in the ’80s). Glover calls the film ”a shot in the arm” for old-school rap. As for whom he’d like to see in his role: ”Somebody pretty. Maybe Brad Pitt.”