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William Straus

Part-Time Lecturer

After working on college classmate John Singleton’s Boyz n’ the Hood, Straus worked as a screenwriter for a few years before getting his Masters from USC’s Peter Stark Producing Program. Straus’ Stark summer internship at New Line Cinema turned into a story department position and he eventually worked his way up to the executive ranks. After leaving the studio, Straus set up his own shingle with a first-look deal at Circle of Confusion. His first film, The Man, starring Sam Jackson and Eugene Levy, was released in September 2005. He also produced Weapons (Nick Cannon, Paul Dano) and Red (Brian Cox), Sundance Film Festival selections in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Straus also has a number of other projects in various stages of packaging and development. Chief among them is Straight Outta Compton, a biopic of NWA at New Line. He recently completed his fourth feature The Last Rites of Joe May, a gritty Chicago-based drama produced in association with The Steppenwolf Repertoire Company.