In ever-popular “do you want to feel old?” news, Tupac Shakur died nearly twenty years ago (the rapper and actor was brutally murdered in Las Vegas after a boxing match on September 13, 1996), and the musical icon is now finally set to get a long-in-the-works biopic from a very dedicated director. Despite dropping out of the project about two years ago, John Singleton is now back on board to direct the feature, a highly personal matter for the Boyz n the Hood helmer who was both a friend and a professional mentor to Shakur.
Variety reports that Singleton will re-write the film’s script, direct the project, and produce the final feature. Singleton was first attached to the project a couple of years back, but he eventually dropped out. Training Day director Antoine Fuqua was also attached for a period of time, but he too left the project after he couldn’t get a script he liked in place and, perhaps more daunting, he couldn’t find a suitable lead for the film. To that end, Variety shares that “the next move is to find the actor to play Shakur,” which is of course of utmost importance to the success of the project, so here’s hoping that Singleton has more luck than Fuqua (the director even resorted to open casting calls, none of which helped to find fresh talent for the part). The newly-reinstalled director will also start work on the script, with an eye to getting the film into production in June, so this thing appears to be on a very fast timetable.
Singleton and Shakur became close, both personally and professionally, after the rapper starred in Singleton’s 1993 film Poetic Justice. Singleton is reportedly still close with Shakur’s family, and he clearly feels quite bound to telling this story.
“Tupac was the guy who I planned to do a lifetime of films with,” Singleton told Variety. “His passing deeply affected my life as well as countless people in this world. His life story is as important to my generation.” The director has also taken to Twitter to share:
The time has come to tell your story. I promise to keep it real and true to your soul.Bigg JS50 Niggaaz/Thug Life pic.twitter.com/IGFU0LpELR
— JOHN SINGLETON (@SHAFT6816) February 12, 2014
The film will “follow his rise to being one of the most popular hip-hop artists as well as his murder following a boxing match in 1996 in Las Vegas.”
Do you have any casting ideas for the film? Or would you rather see brand new talent in the role?
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