Tupac Biopic Gains Financing; Eying Early 2014 Production Start

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Tupac in Juice Tupac Biopic Gains Financing; Eying Early 2014 Production Start

It has nearly been twenty years(!) since the death of rapper/actor/poet/artist/icon Tupac Shakur, which is why it seems so shocking that no one in Hollywood has successfully exploited adapted the late star’s life story into a major motion picture. Tupac’s contemporary The Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down a year after Shakur – and yet his life has already been immortalized in the 2009 film, NotoriousSo what’s the hold up with ‘Pac’s story?

Well, after many years of starts, stops, estate battles and the like, it is now official: The Tupac biopic is indeed moving ahead, With Morgan Creek Productions financially backing Emet/Furla/Oasis Films (2 GunsEscape Plan) in order to bring the project to fruition.

Deadline dropped the initial news, which was then quickly corroborated by an official press release from Morgan Creek. Last we heard, untested screenwriter Michael Starrbury was brought in to re-work a script by Oscar-nominated duo Stephen J. Rivele and Chris Wilkinson; however, reports now state that the film is being scripted by Eddie Gonzalez and Jeremy Haft (Street Kings 2), and a draft is expected to be completed by mid-October.

Tupac in Above the Rim Tupac Biopic Gains Financing; Eying Early 2014 Production Start

Tupac in ‘Above the Rim’

Production is being slated for a February 2014 start date; the filmmakers have access to Tupac’s music catalog and the late star’s mother, Afeni Shakur, will produce the film, much the same way that Voletta Wallace (mother of B.I.G.) produced Notorious. Fitting eulogies, if ever there were any. The production budget for the Tupac movie will be set at $45 million – which is pretty solid, given the current state of the movie business. Clearly this film will have a built-in audience it attracts; but with no word yet on a director, the question of creating a Tupac film that has mainstream appeal is still a lingering challenge.

…And then there’s the bigger challenge (no pun) (no double pun!) of casting the film. Tupac remains as difficult as ever to cast (established star? Relative unknown?); actor Michael B. Jordan had breakouts with Chronicle and Fruitvale Station and has since become that one young black actor du jour that everyone nominates for applicable leading role (or, you know, as a black Johnny Storm in a Fantastic Four reboot) – which is probably why Deadline writer Mike Fleming Jr. can “see a guy” like him in the part. Of course, there are plenty of other young black male actors – discovered or not – that could handle the part, so we’ll see what shakes out.

Death Row Gang Tupac Biopic Gains Financing; Eying Early 2014 Production Start

The Death Row Records Crew

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other famous celebrities and icons who were involved with Tupac’s life, who would also need to be cast for the film. Assuming the movie covers something of ‘Pac’s parents’ time as members of the Black Panther Movement, those roles would need to be cast; as a teen Tupac attended the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he met future lifelong friend Jada Pinkett, so someone would need to play a version of her; then there is the long list of musical artists ‘Pac rubbed elbows with, including Digital  Underground (“The Humpty Dance”), Notorious B.I.G., and fellow Death Row Records label mates and associates like Suge Knight, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre – all of whom will be controversial in terms of “proper” casting.

Who do YOU want to see play Tupac – an unknown or a familiar face? Let us know in the comments.

_________

The Tupac biopic will start shooting in early 2014. We’ll keep you updated on release date info.

Sources: MCP & Deadline

Follow Kofi Outlaw on Twitter @ppnkof
TAGS: Tupac
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  1. tupac is coming back this year, so dont forget, to all you people that listen to lil wayne, he will be going back to McDonalds frying chips and making burgers.

  2. Tha Realest should play Tupac.

  3. I have been a Pac fan since i was a kid so i would love to be in his biopic who would i contact please.

  4. I think Anthony Mackie could do a good job. I wonder if Jamie Fox could handle a role like that? I can’t picture him with that thug mentality haha Pac had a sensitive, although people mistake him as a gangster, he was an activist, a politician, a poet, an actor, generous, respected women, his voice and presence made people follow him, and he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind that’s why he is the realist. It would be cool if Nas took some acting classes because he understands Pac, I want to see a rapper or actor that studied Pac in the way he was meant to be understood. Kendrick shave your damn head and learn how to act I think he would be entertaining when it came to booth scenes. THAT is all.
    Mr. Flores Colorado

  5. Me Clenton Birks would be a good choice can’t use a famous person

  6. Im a unknown actor from la saban brown I want to try out call me 786 4683017 I can play pac

  7. Dmx ! Get him healthy again, dmx would kill it as PAC. The passion intensity and real ness that made PAC , PAC . Dmx has that in him to. Dmx has been screwed by the industry the ways they did PAC. Dmx has been categorized as a problem, reckless and too unpredictable for society the ways PAC was portrayed . They both have the same ruthlessness when they rap , passion and lyricism that make them both real musical artists . They can give you straight thug but can break you down, hit you hard and deep when they wanted to. That’s my personal opinion. I think dmx would have to get healthy and clean first, but I feel he’d be the best choice , celebrity wise.

  8. Kevonne Wright should play PAC

  9. I think uncle phil from fresh prince would make a good suge knight.

    • He died.

  10. Nobody can compare to Pac but Damario brown shares some looks

  11. Eminem should play Tupac. Dying to see it especially with a budget of 45million.

  12. Damario brown should play Tupac because of the resemblance and pure rawness that he could bring the guy is basically Pac”s son.

  13. Me! Nobody but me. Can’t have nobody fraudulent playing this Role period. That’s my role through God! Thankyou.

  14. When it’s time to cast Biggie Smalls.. They definitely should call Jabbar Gaines!!!! Check out the you tube auditions !!! Just get him a vest like the nutty Professor for extra weight… You Tube : Jabbar Gaines Biggie Auditions and.. Jabbar Gaines Biggie Auditions 2

  15. This movie better be comeing out soon like in summer 2015 2pac back in action in 2015

  16. Romany Malco would have been perfect for this role. He had a lot of energy like Pac. But alas he’s gotte older and probably looks like Pac would nowadays

  17. Tupacs life covered so much ground from his personal (Thug Life) to an activist, to an actor, musician, man this movie better be good.