Another month, another Tupac biopic announcement. Will this film ever get made, I don’t know. We’ve been writing about it for what seems like many years.
Not that I’m all-that keen on a Tupac biopic, but I’m sure there are many who really want to see a film finally made, who become even more anxious with all these starts and stops.
This month’s update comes courtesy of a Deadline revelation that Emmett/Furla Films has come on-board to co-finance Morgan Creek Productions’ long-in-development $45 million Tupac biopic, which is being penned by Eddie Gonzalez and Jeremy Haft, with a February production start date set.
Tupac’s mother Afeni Shakur will produce.
Tupac Shakur died 17 years ago at a Las Vegas hospital at age 25, 6 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.
Antoine Fuqua’s was previously set to direct, with shooting expected to begin in September 2011, with Oscar-nominated screenwriters Stephen J. Rivele and Chris Wilkinson (Ali & Nixon) hired to write the script.
That obviously didn’t happen.
The story 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.
Screenwriter Rivele added that they weren’t interested in showing who killed Tupac, but rather why anyone would want to kill him.
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 that, and Fuqua eventually left the project.
There was talk of John Singleton taking over, but that never panned out.
Last we reported on it, in January, Michael Starrbury, who penned the screenplay for George Tillman Jr’s The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete was hired by Morgan Creek Production to rewrite the script for their long-in-gestation Tupac biopic.
They even provided an official early but brief synopsis, which read:
The film centers on the life and legacy of Tupac Shakur, from his emergence as a young artist, through his imprisonment, and last prolific years that catapulted him into the upper echelon of American cultural icons.
The Deadline piece doesn’t mention Starrbury’s name at all, which might be an oversight. Unless he’s no longer involved.
But no director is attached yet, although one will be selected and announced soon, which will then be followed by casting. Deadline suggests that Michael B. Jordan would be a good choice for the part, but I think going with on “unknown” would be wiser.
Let’s see if this new development has legs…