Jana B. here,
The life story of Tupac Shakur is a long and winding tale for sure. From his beginnings in East Harlem, to the rap voice of the 1990’s with a heavy slant supporting Black Panther idealogy, and culminating in his participation in the East Coast/West Coast hip hop rivalry involving The Notorious B.I.G. and his label Bad Boy Records which ultimately led to Shakur’s death via multiple gunshot wounds in a drive-by shooting.
John Singleton, famed director and producer for hits like ‘Boyz n the Hood‘, ‘Poetic Justice‘ and ‘Higher Learning‘ is taking the reigns to rewrite, direct and produce and untitled biopic based on the late rapper/actor’s life. This project has been in the works for several years. Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, fought Morgan Creek which is financing the film for creative control. After signing off on the project, she was sued by Morgan Creek for continuing to negotiate after the deal was completed. Afeni then followed with a countersuit, claiming there was no deal. Both sides eventually reached a settlement before the case went to trial in 2011.
Morgan Creek is financing with Randall Emmett and George Furla’s Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films. Singleton will begin working on a draft of the screenplay straightaway, hoping for a summer film-start date. Singleton had first hand experience with the late rapper. Shakur starred in Singleton’s ‘Poetic Justice‘ with Janet Jackson. “Tupac was the guy who I planned to do a lifetime of films with. His passing deeply affected my life as well as countless people in this world. His life story is as important to my generation”, said Singleton. Producing with Morgan Creek’s David Robinson are LT Hutton, Suge Knight and Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur.
With a Broadway musical, ‘Holler If Ya Hear Me‘ and a holographic Tupac rapping on stage with Snoop Dogg at Coachella, and his Godmother’s name being added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List we’re hearing his name everywhere. It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 years since his passing. It will be difficult to find the right actor to fill his shoes, but with Singleton involved, it will end up being a perfect fit.