Not that I’ve been anxiously waiting for a Tupac Shakur biopic (there are so many other black historical figures I’d put ahead of him), but this game of musical chairs has gone on for too long, and I’d like to just see the film finally get made, putting an end to all this dancing.
He was once attached to direct the project (this was at least 2 years ago), but, for reasons that weren’t made public, he would eventually exit. Today, it’s been announced that John Singleton is back on board to direct Morgan Creek’s untitled Tupac Shakur biopic.
Variety states that Singleton has closed a deal to re-write, direct and produce the biopic, which would have reportedly centered on the last day of Tupac’s life, and included flashback sequences that showed the previous years leading up to his death.
Morgan Creek is co-financing the film with Emmett/Furla/Oasis, with June shoot dates eyed.
So, another month, another Tupac biopic announcement. Will the film ever get made? I don’t know. We’ve been writing about it for what seems like a very long time.
And even though I’m not all-that keen on a Tupac biopic, I’m sure there are many who really want to see a film on the man’s life finally made, and who become even more anxious with all these starts and stops.
Last we reported, the project was being packaged at the American Film Market, which took place last November in LA. Emmett/Furla Films and Morgan Creek Productions were to co-finance the long-in-development $45 million project, with principal photography on the film set for spring of 2014.
This came during an AFM reception Emmett/Furla held for friends and supporters of Tupac, in November, where producer Randall Emmett confirmed the 2014 spring shoot was definitely a go.
The script, at the time, was being penned by Eddie Gonzalez and Jeremy Haft, with Tupac’s mother Afeni Shakur producing.
Before Gonzalez and Haft, in January of last year, Michael Starrbury, who penned the screenplay for George Tillman Jr’s The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, was hired by Morgan Creek to rewrite the script for the project.
You’ll recall that, previously, Antoine Fuqua was set to direct, with shooting expected to begin in 2012, with Oscar-nominated screenwriters Stephen J. Rivele and Chris Wilkinson (Ali & Nixon) hired to write the script.
That obviously didn’t happen.
The project had even begun casting in the spring of 2012, with the plan being to go with mostly unknowns. Fuqua said, “That’s the goal… I want to discover someone new… I want to discover a lot of new people if I can. Obviously I’m going to have to put some people in it that you know, just because actors have different skills. I want to go to the streets and find him anywhere he might be in the world.”
However, despite what seemed like forward motion on the project at the time, nothing came from all of that, and Fuqua eventually left the project.
And then there was talk of John Singleton taking over, but that never panned out.
But now he’s back again. And with today’s news, it means that Singleton will rewrite what all the previous writers who’ve worked on the project have already written.
Far too many cooks in this kitchen, which may not bode well for the film that we eventually see. If it ever is made.
Tupac Shakur died 18 years ago at a Las Vegas hospital at age 25, six days after being fatally shot in a driveby shooting that still remains unsolved, despite claims by the LAPD and Tupac’s former bodyguard, most recently, that they know who killed him.
Since his death, attempts at a biopic on his life have been discussed publicly many, many times. But nothing has ever come of any of those starts.
Let’s see if this new development has legs.
By the way, a project that’s more of a sure-thing, a Tupac Shakur-inspired stage musical with Kenny Leon helming, which we’ve been following for those 2 years, titled Holler If Ya Hear Me, is now set to make its debut this spring, on Broadway, with performances beginning May 26, and an official opening on June 19, 2014, at the Palace Theater.