It has been on again, off again, on again and now, off again for Antoine Fuqua and the forever gestating “Tupac” biopic. Earlier this summer, it was reported that the director was dropping out of directing the movie in favor of doing the Eminem boxing movie “Southpaw.” But then, just over a week later, production company Morgan Creek, signed Fuqua to a pay-or-play deal to keep him on the movie and show their commitment to getting the project made. Well, “Southpaw” was dropped by DreamWorks, “Tupac” still hasn’t found a lead, and Fuqua is ready to work.
Last fall, you might remember that Fuqua was tapped by Relativity for a sci-fi action film called “Afterburn” that had Gerard Butler attached to star. Well, not much has happened since but they have another project that is already set with a 2012 release date that they need a director for. “Hunter Killer” was moving with Philip Noyce to direct until he bailed last month but now, Variety reports that Fuqua has stepped into the director’s chair to take over with the film ready to roll this winter.
Based on the book “Firing Point” by George Wallace (a former Navy Commander) — and penned by the trio of Jamie Moss (”X-Men: First Class”), John Kolvenbach and Arne Schmidt (”Chain Reaction”; producer of “Next” and “Big Fish,” among others) — the film will tell the story of an untested submarine captain who must work with a Navy SEAL team to rescue the Russian president, who has been taken prisoner during a military coup, in an effort to stop a rogue Russian general from igniting World War III. Sounds either pulpy or outlandish, but with a December 21, 2012 release date set, Relativity are banking on a high class thriller.
With Fuqua now moving forward on something tangible, we figure he’ll get his recently announced “Suge Knight” documentary for Showtime locked down before heading over to “Hunter Killer” and this likely puts everything else he’s been attached to lately — including “Storming Las Vegas,” “The Tomb” and the Chinese backed historical drama — on the backburner for now.