Last week, director Antoine Fuqua’s plans to produce a feature length film based on the life of Tupac Shakur, seemed to have taken a blow, with news that he had walked away from that project to instead direct a boxing drama starring another rapper, Eminem, titled Southpaw, expected to shoot later this year.
It now looks like Fuqua is actually STILL very much involved in the Tupac film, and could very well direct BOTH films, as he’s long been Afeni Shakur’s (Tupac’s mother’s) choice to direct the film, and, per the LA Times, “ Morgan Creek has now responded with a stroke of its own. The company has made Fuqua pay-or-play — a piece of Hollywood lingo that means Fuqua will get paid even if the company doesn’t make the movie with him. Essentially, it commits producers to Fuqua and makes it on balance more likely a film will get made. A Morgan Creek spokesman confirmed the move.”
As for casting… Fuqua’s intent to cast unknowns in the starring roles, even launching a web-based nationwide search, has been well publicized.
The 24 Frames further states that “Morgan Creek… has looked at several veteran actors,” although, “producers are leaning toward an unknown who has a similar look and background” to Tupac.