John Singleton Directing Tupac Biopic

Published 1 year ago by

John Singleton directing Tupac Biopic John Singleton Directing Tupac Biopic

A movie about the life of rapper/actor/activist/controversial figure Tupac Shakur has been in the works for as long as the man himself has been dead – which is to say, as long as some current college students have been alive. But unlike the long span of time that has preceded it, it seems like now the project is actually happening.

In late 2013 we learned that Morgan Creek Productions will back Emet/Furla/Oasis Films (2 GunsEscape Plan) in financing the Tupac movie, and that production will start in early 2014. To that end, a director has been chosen for the film, and it is someone whose name has long been attached.

Variety reports that John Singleton will rewrite, produce and direct the Tupac biopic for Morgan Creek. Singleton has of course directed films as varied as Boyz n The Hood and 2 Fast 2 Furious and has long wanted to tackle the Tupac biopic – as he makes clear in a statement about helming the film:

“Tupac was the guy who I planned to do a lifetime of films with. His passing deeply affected my life as well as countless people in this world. His life story is as important to my generation.”

The Tupac biopic has had a hard road to the screen – including a long legal battle with Tupac’s mother Afeni Shakur over rights to the film. A few years ago, it almost got made with Olympus Has Fallen director Antoine Fuqua at the helm; but now the project is entirely in Singleton’s hands, for better or worse.

There will be a fair amount of skepticism regarding the choice in director – and not without reason. Singleton has not directed many feature films in the 21st century (just five) and his only film in the last half-decade was the Taylor Lautner vehicle, Abduction. Take that as you will.

Tupac and Jane Jackson in John Singletons Poetic Justice John Singleton Directing Tupac Biopic

Tupac and Janet Jackson in John Singleton’s ‘Poetic Justice’

On the other hand, Singleton was one of the THE African-American filmmakers of the 1990s, the era in which Tupac was a reigning icon. Singleton also knew the man himself; they worked together on the 1993 film Poetic Justice, a vehicle for both Shakur and Janet Jackson, his leading lady.

Could this project be a sort of reinvigorating comeback for Singleton AND an accomplished piece of cinema dedicated to Tupac’s life and career?

Until they actually cast the actor to play the man, the jury is still out. But Singleton is an interesting place to start.


We’ll keep you updated on the status of the Tupac biopic.

Source: Variety

Follow Kofi Outlaw on Twitter @ppnkof
TAGS: Tupac
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    The Hate U Give Little INfants F^CKS EVERYONE!

    A word Evolved by the late Tupac Shakur.
    Commonly mistaken for a Criminal.

    Thug Life is the opposite of someone having all he needs to succeed. Thug life is when you have nothing, and succeed, when you have overcome all obstacles to reach your aim.

    “When my heart beats, it screams THUG LIFE.” – The Late Great Shakur

    • Thug America IS America

    • Why make a word the opposite of what it is and try to justify it as positive?

      • “Gangsta” rap has to be one of the most hypocritical subcultures ever formed. They constantly glamorize violence, misogyny, and crime by using words like ‘thug’, ‘pimp’, or ‘gangsta’ to describe someone or something they think is ‘cool’ and then they have to backpedal when they get called out on it.

        “What? calling myself a “gangsta” isn’t meant to imply than I’m involved with gangs in any way! Where did you get THAT idea!?”

    • “Biggie remember… Five shots couldn’t drop me /I took it and smiled/Now I’m back to set the record straight/With my A-K/ I’m still the thug that you love to hate/ M********* I’ll Hit ‘Em Up”

      -Hit’em Up, Tupac Shakur

      Yeah, when you look at it in context, it’s clear that the word “thug” just means a guy trying to self-actualize. It’s not like Tupac was trying to portray himself as some kind of dangerous, violent criminal or anything. Hey, what happened with that Biggie/Tupac feud anyway. Did those guys ever patch things up?

  2. Hopefully he makes a cameo!

    Everyone Knows he’s been hiding out in New Mexico

    • I thought it was Cuba …lol

  3. DAYYUM !

  4. Bout damn time they got things rolling with this film. I’ve long been waiting for the Tupac Bio to come to life and it finally looks like it will happen. Definitely got the right director in john Singleton to helm this ,which means it will be thought provoking and very deep.

    Now if they can only get the Janis Joplin Bio off the ground.

  5. I have the utmost confidence in Singleton with this project. I didn’t bother seeing abduction and his filmography is hit or miss but Four Brothers and Baby Boy were great and Boyz N The Hood is a classic. He’s obviously very emotionally attached to the project and the man was a friend of Pac. I think he’ll be able to do it justice.

    • Also, if this movie was made 10-15 years ago with Singleton at the helm 100% Ving Rhames would’ve been cast as Suge Knight. And he’s now like 20-30 years older than Suge was at the time, but I could still see it happening.

  6. Michael B. Jordan please.

    • No! I’m tired of seeing this kid’s name being attached to everything that requires a black actor. There are many many talented black actors out there who deserve an opportunity. But it seems Hollywood can only handle one black superstar at a time.

      • probably an unknown actor

  7. Tyrese Gibson sounds like an obvious choice.

    • Tyrese Gibson is a poor choice. I’d rather a unknown actor for this role.

  8. I was hoping for The Hughes Brothers but, I’m sure Singleton can get the job done.

    • The Hughes Brothers, now that would be ironic….

      • haha

      • Yes, it would be ironic.But it would probably be a better movie with them at the helm.

  9. this could be a great movie, the only question i have is what actor can bring the right charisma and screen presence to do it justice

  10. db Woodside for him

    • Great idea. Always thought he looked like Pac and he’s a good actor. It’ll probably goto Michael B. Jordan which isnt a bad choice.

  11. Tupac was an ok rapper but I would rather see a movie about real rappers like Master p or Macklemore

    • errrrrm really?

    • Sarcasm at its best!

    • Me too. Who doesn’t know about Master P. He was dishing out hits after hits after hits

    • Is that the best you can do for real rappers??? (Master p or Macklemore)
      MasterP was a 3 word rapper (although he is a business genius)
      Macklemore to me is like a another PoP artist

  12. Great news! I’ve been waiting for a Tupac bio for a long time as well. Especially after the Biggie movie “Notorious” made him look like the bad guy of their beef. I just hope they are not going the same direction with this one and making Biggie look like a fat f*ck. These two cats really made my entrance to hip hop much easier back in the day and I will always respect them both equally (though maybe Tupac’s lyrics hit closer to home). Peace!

  13. Oh… and Anthony Mackie was Tupac in “Notorious” so I wouldn’t mind him reprising the role. He did it a great job. Though he is becoming a huge star now through Captain America: The Winter Soldier so I’m not sure if he can find the time for another 2Pac appearance. Maybe as a passion project?

    • I think anthony mackie was miscast as tupac. If he dident have the bald head, nose ring and yelled thug life every 5 secs I wouldent have known he was playing Tupac. Not saying Mackie is not an excellent actor…but he was miscast imo.

  14. I hope they cast a talented unknown to play him. Nothing will be more distracting than Tyrese Gibson imitating 2pac on screen :-/

    • Agree!

  15. Please cast an unknown actor for this! If he casts any of these guys listed on this forum, I’m gonna get so mad.

  16. Michael B Jordan as tupac anyone?

    • umm! No lol

  17. Who keeps giving this guy work.? All his movies suck.

  18. Until reading this I did not realize Singleton directed Abduction and now I’m sad. :(
    How does one go from Boyz n the Hood and Poetic Justice to directing Taylor Lautner???

    I’ll still keep my fingers crossed though. Singleton has proved that with the right material he can make great films and hopefully his friendship with Pac will inspire him to reach those levels again.
    I just hope this movie ends up better than Notorious. Biggie deserved a better movie than that.

  19. Prob the best Tupac news Ive heard in a long time. I trust John Singleton…and I actually kinda enjoyed Abduction when i saw it on Netflixx. Afeni Shakur is really a control freak of the worst kind, I don’t know her motives but I hope they are just…as many projects & ideas she has turned down.

    I’m sure she will have a big say in what is shown and not shown…the downside is we may get a neutered movie Ala the Freddie Mercury biopic with former fantastically realized front runner Sacha baron cohen.

  20. I heard people saying they should cast an unknown but the truth is most black actors are unknown to white america lol. Screenrant posters aside…there are some incredible young actors out there with large bodies of work who could possibly play Tupac…I for one think getting someone who looks like Pac is just as important as say Freddie Mercury or any other bio the actor should resemble the person they are playing.

    Some possible guys (these guys can carry movies with long resumes) who could play Pac are:

    Michael B Jordan (fruitvale station,chronicle),

    Laz Alonzo (Avatar,Southland)

    Columbus short (Stomp the yard, Armored & The losers)

    Brandon T. Jackson (tropic thunder, lottery ticket)

  21. Will the FBI be the villain in this flick? If not, Hollywood can spare me a few dollars and not make this film.

  22. i am wondering who the cast to play his eyebrows…

  23. Glad to hear this. I’ve seen just about every documentary there is on Tupac and he had a crazy life that could make a great film if done right.

    So does that mean his mom lost the legal battle if the movie is moving forward now? Did she actually want to stop it from being made?