Tupac Biopic Gains Financing; Eying Early 2014 Production Start

Published 2 years ago by

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. The biopic film should center around his last night alive, in Las Vegas, I think you can touch on his youth, but Pac was more well known for being rebellious, reckless and polarizing. A talented actor will be able to portray his mannerisms, his charisma, his emotions and ultimately his paranoia during the east/west beef. The Tupac biopic, needs grit, it needs to be exactly what Pac was, a ganster, a poet and ultimately a troubled young man who rose to fame, and was murdered at a very young age. It has all the makings of a great greek tragedy. Looking forward to it, if its done right.

    • You might be on to something there…
      You could have a good chunk of the film take place during that night at the MGM Grand while flashing back to different periods of his life that would give an opportunity to show how his entire life lead to that night.
      No matter what it’s going to be tricky because even though he died awfully young he lived a life that could fill 2 movies.

      • Indeed…

  2. Interested in how this is casted. It is pretty crazy that it has been almost 20 years since he got killed. I wonder how long the run time will be of the movie because he picked in a lot of life in a limited amount of time.

  3. Who’s going to play Tony Danza?

    Yeah, that’s a silly question but I promise I’m not trolling.
    Tupac talked a lot about how when he was in prison it’s was letters from Mr. Danza himself that helped him get through.

    • Trolo

    • It was actually Ted Danson.

  4. he was a very talented guy but also very troubled and complex…good luck at trying to bring his life story to the screen its gonna need to be a very good actor…unless they jus breeze through his life like they did with Bigs film

  5. They should have the scene where Pac is wearing the red wings jersey, red bandana and spitting at the news camera man. Classic.

  6. I vote Ja Rule to play the part…

    • No. I respect your opinion, but just no.

      • +1

  7. His suicidal tendencies gets down played, but is woven in a lot of his music. Then there’s the studio gangster. And the activist, actor, and poet. A complex figure to be sure and a daunting task for any actor. I like Kofi’s pick though.

    • So true…

  8. Im torn between whether they should cast an unknown rapper or an actor for the role. I think that one thing they got right with Notorious is that they had someone who could actually rap play BIG but Pac was such a complex person that an experienced actor might be best. Im surprised there is no mention of Anthony Mackie in the article since he did play Pac in Notorious but maybe his schedule is a lil busy.

  9. I say Armie Hammer should play him in the movie.

  10. I’m pretty sure Tupac will be playing Tupac.

    • +1 for Breaking Bad reference in your name and +1 for Chappelle Show reference. Ya too close man! *chokes a legend*

      I’m shuttin’ the studio down…

  11. Think Anthony Mackie will get the part!

  12. A vehicle for Michael B. Jordan directed by Ryan coogler ?

  13. I`m not surprise about this I would like to see who killed Tupac though

    • If you’re interested in learning about who was behind Pac’s murder (and who was behind Biggie’s), I recommend buying Murder Rap. It’s a book by a former LA detective who worked on the case after it was re-opened when Voletta Wallace sued the LAPD and the city of LA. Kading makes a very convincing case that Suge had Biggie killed by one of his Bloods friends in retaliation for Pac’s murder. Kading also claims that the uncle of Pac’s shooter claims that Puffy offered him money to kill Pac. But, he never got paid.

      • Thanks man I`ll check it out

  14. More importantly who play Suge Knight and Snoop Dogg?

  15. They will add in so much crap to this film and pollute the truth and make him out to be something he was not. In interviews and documentaries Tupac plainly says the media and the production company make him out to be, then he says I sell records that who I am. I also bet nothing about Killuminati or his parents be mentioned.

  16. lol make him look like a Thug. He was actually really smart and kind and wanted to really make the world a better place.

  17. It would be funny if Taye Diggs played 2 Pac! Tyler Perry a Suge Knight.

  18. what about Aldis Hodge?

    • Also, for younger sequences what about (I’ll probably get my head ripped-off) Jaden Smith?

  19. I won’t watch this even for free on the internet.

  20. It has to be an unknown. There is this kid name Alfred E. Rutherford that someone at my job showed me today, that is the guy.

  21. I just want to clear the air my cousin that fought TUPAC outside of MGM grand did not kill TUPAC !!!!
    And keontae wright should play TUPAC he was seen on tmz last year at the lax airport he looks like him and damiro brown of la looks dead on like him don’t believe me look at his Instagram —-> @damariobrown
    Follow me on ig @i_amfrenchie

  22. Why not consider Richard Garcia of Jersey City for Tupac’s role? He’s qualified personality and appearance wise. He even has the same birthday. You can’t go wrong with him!!!

    • Same birthday to hu? Smdh, lol… stop it. Yeah, he already has my vote. +1

  23. I had the pleasure to meet one of the greatest guys out there who can definitely play tupac without a doubt! Richard Garcia, follow him on twitter @Thugangel11 and instagram thugangel12, I also had the pleasure of meeting Lawrence Johnson from Camden, NJ, he would be perfect to play the role as Snoop!!!!!

    • NICE!

  24. Salute to The Otha Boss, D O DoubleG, from Camden County. He look more like the real snoop from back in the day. Snoop lion too. We kiltM up in Manhattan the other week too. Salute.

  25. Check dodoubleg420 on YouTube Salute

    • Salute!