Last week Friday, I shared details of an interview that director John Singleton gave to XXL magazine, in which he shared that his involvement in the long-in-development Tupac Shakur feature film had been put “on hold,” as some key items apparently still hadn’t been completely worked out: “I’m putting my involvement on hold right now because we’re trying to figure out some things… I got a script and I got the blessings from his family. We’ll see…. We’ve got to get it right.”
He didn’t say what exactly is causing the hiatus; he didn’t explain what “things” they’re still trying to figure out, other than to say: “It’s a very intimidating because, like I said, you just want to get it right. I think the picture is not going to be good unless it’s offensive to some people. So, whenever you make a movie, you always have different elements that people have their say about. But when I’m making my movies, John Singleton movies, it’s really just my voice. So I can’t be listening to all the other suggestions of all these other people and shit. So we’re not going to pull the trigger on that until it’s right. If somebody else wants to do something different then they can do something different. But if it’s going to be right, it’s going to be right. It’s going to be something that potentially adorns ‘Pac’s legacy.”
So, as I inferred last week, from what he said, in short, the hold-up is because he has a specific vision for the film which others of influence apparently don’t share. Note again that he said his involvement was put on hold, and not that the project itself, so, as I also noted in last week’s post, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was an announcement down the road that Singleton has left the director’s seat for someone else to take over.
And it looks like it might have already happened.
Shared last night on the Tupac movie’s Facebook page, as well as on Instagram, is a casting notice that lists Carl Franklin as director. I searched the web hoping to find some confirmation of this, and the only mention I found was on industry journalist Roger Friedman’s Showbiz 411 site published this morning (he calls his announcement an “exclusive,” although the casting notice has been online since yesterday).
So until we receive some official announcement from the studio behind the project – Morgan Creek – file this news under “uncomfirmed” for now.
In terms of casting, Singleton did say that he had narrowed down his choices, but just couldn’t talk about them yet: “Yeah, I have. I have great casting choices, it’s just too premature to talk about.”
But if he is indeed off the project, then it may not matter anymore.
Carl Franklin’s last feature directorial effort was 2013’s “Bless Me, Ultima;’ Since then, it’s been all TV shows for him, directing episodes of “House of Cards,” “Homeland,” “Bloodline” and others. I think he’d be a good choice for a Tupac biopic.
Keep in mind that Antoine Fuqua was at one point attached to direct the film as well; so the director carousel continues to spin.
I didn’t share the casting notice here for various reasons, but if you want to see it, click on any of the links above to Facebook, Instagram and Showbizz 411. Although don’t be surprised if it suddenly disappears!