Tupac Shakur Biopic Adds Oscar Nominated Writing Team

Published 5 years ago by , Updated September 20th, 2013 at 6:44 am,

tupac Tupac Shakur Biopic Adds Oscar Nominated Writing Team

It’s been over seven years since Tupac Shakur graced the silver screen in the Lauren Lazin directed documentary, Tupac Resurrection, narrated by the rap artist himself – using audio pieced together from interviews prior to his death.

Now, we’re getting word that Academy Award-nominated screenwriting team of Stephen J. Rivele and Chris Wilkinson (Ali) have been hired to write a new script for Antoine Fuqua’s long-awaited Tupac Shakur biopic.

Vulture reports that Fuqua, who tackled the gritty Los Angeles streets in his excellent first film, Training Day, could begin filming by mid-November, assuming that Rivele and Wilkinson turn in their script on time.

According to Wilkinson, the script will not be a biopic in the traditional sense, but will instead “center on the last day of Tupac’s life, flashing back to show the final four years leading up to it.”

Rivele added that, from his point of view, Shakur was a “19th century Romantic poet who found himself in the 21st century.”

“This is the story of an artist whose character is at odds with his medium. He was a really sensitive, very romantic, talented young poet who also could sing, dance, and act. But the realities [of the hip-hop record business] were that he had to create this persona of the gangster.”

I’m not entirely sure I agree with that assessment, but I appreciate Rivele’s take on Shakur. Without a doubt, Tupac was one of the most talented rap artists in music history and his murder, as well as that of fellow rapper Notorious B.I.G., has continued to be one of the most widely discussed events in popular culture over the last 14 years.

Interestingly, Rivele and Wilkinson’s script won’t delve into who killed Tupac or the many conspiracy theories surrounding the rapper’s death (some people actually believe the government was involved in the murder for some reason – while others believe the rapper is still alive). Instead, the film will focus on why the writing team believes Tupac was murdered.

Again, the answer is somewhat esoteric.

According to Rivele, Tupac was murdered because he was trying to move beyond the “Thug Life” label that catapulted his career.

“[Tupac] was just beginning to shed that anger and look for a purer voice…He was in the process of changing himself, and entering a new phase of his life — essentially a Romantic vision — and had set up a new label, and a new production company to create it. He saw the contradiction between the musical persona of ‘Thug Life,’ and his essential nature as a gentle, sensitive person. And that was partly responsible for his murder: He was not a gangster, but the people around him were. They saw he was going to leave, that they were going to lose him, and so I think they decided to kill him.”

Obviously, you can take that interpretation with a grain of salt, but it certainly will make for a more interesting movie – more interesting than the usual by-the-books biopic.

With Antoine Fuqua behind the director’s chair, and a subject as interesting as Tupac, I expect a fairly decent movie. Now the question is who will play the famous rapper? The Vulture report says Fuqua is looking for an unknown actor to take on the role. Certainly a risk – but probably the right choice.

We’ll have more on that casting decision when it is finally announced.

Source: Vulture

TAGS: Tupac
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  1. Finally. I always wondered why biggie got an movie before Pac, Pac had the far more interesting life, from almost being born in a New York jail-cell from his crack head ex-black panther mother, to moving to baltimore, to growing up in the mean streets of California. Were he grew up with “Thugs” & “Drug Dealers” and learned all about the gangster lifestyle. To touring with Digital Underground, the various court cases, Prison, and his “violent outbursts” towards paparazzi and the police to finally the Tragic Deathrow days.

    • Oh and he was also a rising actor. a great one at that.

      The film should be pretty interesting. I just hope they dont change anything, make it too Hollywood, his life was interesting as is.

      “Notorious” was garbage, a great example to how NOT to make a good biopic.

  2. Who would have info on how to audition for a role in this? ‘Pac is my all time favorite and I would love to have some involvement in this.

  3. im really shocked that this thread has has THIS many comments. maybe it give that Beiber thread a run for its money lol

    • Good job stereotyping you troll.

      • awwwwww :( :(

  4. haha! i though i had offened him about the thread count comment

  5. You know joking aside this clown doesn’t deserve a biopic. He deserves nothing.

    What a great message to lower income black youths. Hey take on that ganger image, it might pay off for you.

    Lol the guys dead, yeah go for the dream. Morons.

    • wuts a ganger? doppleganger?

    • Wait what? Are you serious??? I cant let this one go unchecked. That statement was extremely biased. Please, next time you decide to bash someone like you just did, could you please do a little research. At least try and sound a little professional next time.

    • “He deserves nothing”? Really? Obviously you’re not a rap fan because Tupac is a legend.

  6. 790 it’s always nice when we have common ground. Giving a film biopic to a walking talking sterotype that makes the entire human race looks bad is crap. Next up let’s do a Biopic glorifying OJ. Can we get a film that makes Charles Manson look like a hero? A useless thug gangstar like Tupac is hardly better than a serial killer only difference is their street cred.

  7. To all you ignorant jerks who are calling Tupac a “stereotype” or a gangbanger,seriously grow up.Tupac is no more a stereotype then KKK for southern whites.Tupac had an image for a thug,but he was very articulate and intelligent.In presentation he was a “thug”,but he was far more.Tupac was one of the greatest of all time,but he was also a very outspoken man on politics and hollywoood itself.He often walked the line of hypocrite,but who hasnt these days.If you dont like the fact hes getting a biopic why troll and comment? Plenty of other news out there.The fact is he was an icon of music at the time ans still is,why should he not? Even if he was controversial.

  8. @790

    The fact that you use the “Damn yo” and the “Word up” stereotypical words isn’t funny or cool,is ignorant.Tupac fans arent all thugs or wanna be thugs.Alot of people relate to his music b/c of the environments they live in or have survived (myself being the latter).So the fact you use those silly little sly remarks as a way to poke fun at his fans,doesnt only make you ignorant,it makes people een more frustrated with the mockery of their music/culture choice.

  9. Why shouldn’t he be an icon? Because he didn’t deserve to be he lacked talent. I mean yay he owned a rhyming dictionary and knew how to curse every 5 seconds. Unless demeaning woman, insulting people, talking about killing people and bragging are talents.

    • really? probably you never owned or barely heard more of his songs. you fail try again.

    • I liike to hear your raps daniel, then you can talk about him having no talent.

    • Tupac obviously had some talent dude. Look at his album sales, look around and ask someone on the street what they think about Tupac. He was obviously talented if he’s considered a legend by almost everyone. You obviously listen to Nickelback or something since you don’t understand the importance of Pac.

  10. ashame on you guys (the regulars), have you even listened to some of his songs, he wrote some really good stuff, the fact that he included profanities within his songs shows his frustration with the world and how everyone around him is suffering and no one is doing anything to help (dear mr.president (song title) is a good example).

  11. When I got to the part that said he wrote good stuff I couldn’t stop laughing. I’ve heard alot of his crap err songs none of it’s good. The stuff he made shouldn’t be called music it really hurts the music industry takes away alot of respect. It’s like some one taking a dump on a canvas and calling it art.. Which sadly has been done.

    • Again you may have heard it, but you didn’t “Listen to IT!!!” You heard it and made an inaccurate perception and decided to make an unprofessional comment. If you have no knowledge about your topic then it would be wise not to say anything about it. That’s how PROFESSIONALS and ADULTS handle things.

  12. Its pretty much like arguing with a wall.Its pointless.Everyone has an opinion,even if it is idiotic.The man is as much an Icon as Elvis,The Rolling Stones or The beatles.Its not for you.Its for people who are conscious enough to listen to his music.Like Changes,Keep Your Head Up,or Only God Can Judge Me.Not to mention Dear Mama,which is about the mistreatment of youth and the horrible conditions in jail.

    His music doesnt hurt the industry.If anything you should cut on the radio and hear the trash they call music today.Kesha? Souja Boy? Really? Pure cliches and trash.That hurts the industry..

    • well said.
      i think that people on this site hate rap/hip hop so they rip on it.
      guys read what your typing, cause some people find it offensive that you’re mocking a favourite artist of theirs (i wouldn’t call him my #1 fav, but i do like his music).

      you guys are making it out as if you haven’t listened to any of his songs and just making fun of him because of the genre of music he wrote.

      • I really cant say he’s my number one favorite artist,but he’s definitely in my Top 5 Dead or Alive (sorry hip hop saying,lol). I listen to pretty much all music,especially Rock,Hip-Hop,70s Soul and Jazz.It just really bothers me how people insult and say harsh things,and try to pass it off as a comment.Believe me,I dont like Justin Bieber at ALL.I think he’s a one man boy band,but I wouldn’t troll on a thread and insult his fans and music.I think its ignorance to say the things they said about Tupac,and its a direct attack on the genre of Hip-Hop.But,some people will never grow up.And some people will always think they know everything.

  13. @790 @Daniel F

    You two pretend like you have some in depth analysis of African – American culture but you’re really just two racists who don’t have the balls to admit you’re racists – something I’ve known for a long time.

    Tupac reached people young and old of all races across the world with his music, message and even poetry. Calling him a “gangbanger” or a “clown” is insulting and idiotic. Even if you don’t agree with him or like him, show some respect for somebody who was obviously important to so many others.

    Some days I wish you two really would get the @#$% off my website and go find somewhere else to live your pathetic, always-on-the-Internet lives. Screw the rules of this comment section: I will not stand for obvious racist and prejudice trolling on SR. So test me. I’ll block both you A-holes from the site in a second.

    BTW: this was Tupac’s whole point 790: that unless he dressed in pastel button down shirts and talked in the whitest voice possible, then anything he said or did as a young black male with a critical mind and a message would be construed as negative. He put on a thug persona because he felt (rightly or wrongly) that it was inevitable that he would be seen that way. He was actually a highly trained artist and performer (went to acting school with Jada Pinkett for example) and to paraphrase his own line “I would have been doing broadway or acting if it hadn’t been for one thing: Poverty.”

    He grew up and escaped poverty himself, but couldn’t ignore or leave behind the people who grew up with who still had to live in poverty and injustice. And yes, remaining in that world may have been his downfall but that doesn’t make him an idiot. Let’s see you both get shot multiple times, harassed by cops, put in jail over fradulent sexual assault charges and see how you view the world afterword.

    790 – I’m erasing some of your comments. Consider it me “gangbanging” you. Clown.

    • Thank you so much for showing the talents and skills of this extrodinary man.I grew up in a rough community,and for awhile I always thought he was just another “gangsta” rapper.But after reading his poetry and hearing so much of his music,I honestly felt so positive about making it in life.He was a very intelligent man,and sadly his lifestyle claimed his life.He is an Icon and his work should be remembered.My only issue is that I wish african american culture was seen for more than Hip Hop,but as long as we have the work of artist like KRS-One,Gang Starr and Tupac,I think the music will live on…

    • Kofi, That was the most badass comment Ive have ever read. You took the words right out of my mouth. Man your going on my list of greatest all time heroes. *Hands awards* I’m glad SR has authors like you. Thanks for standing up for the rest of us.

  14. Thank you Kofi……

  15. Someone actually calling me a racist is hilarious to me. You’ve got to be the only person in the world who would think that of me and to claim you’ve known it for some time as if I go around saying awful things about African Americans on a daily basis is idiotic. I’m usually the one defending casting black actors in famously white roles but you’ve known I’m racist for a long time. So because I don’t respect Tupac and you don’t like me I’m racist?

    This has nothing to do with race for me. Topac is a self admitted gangstar. Topac was considered very hardcore and has been suspected of a few shootings in his time. He also has a very demeaning view on females or at least his music and the way he acted sure made it seem that way. There are plenty of great black men in history that actually deserve respect and it’s a sad thing that more people love and respect Tupac than Martin Luthor or Malcom X. There are plenty of great men out there for you to praise Tupac has done bad things and even admits to it. While he has a message to get out he does it with out any class what so ever. Calling peoe racist because they don’t like your fave ‘Singer’ is idiotic. I’m not even acting like 790 I’m not saying yo and what ever other thing he is saying. I’m saying guys like King helped pushed African Americans closer to equality while guys like Tupac pushed them two steps back because his attitude , personality and history made racists morons picture all African Americans as the same as him. When most are far more intellegent and less violent.

    Yea though I don’t like Tupac so I must be racist.

    At least most modern day rappers have not actually tried to kill people. Kanye may be an idiot but he’s a better human than Tupac ever was.

    • @ Daniel F

      The issue is you saying he didnt have talent.You simply say the man isnt an Icon when its evident he is.Whether you like hip hop or not,Tupac is an Icon of the genre.You also say he “had a rhyme dictionary and swore alot”.My thing is,if you dont like his music,thats fine.But dont disrespect the mans talent and say he doesnt deserve a biopic,as well as putting OJ in the dispute.Al Capone is a known Gangster yet he is an Icon of sorts of the city of chicago and they have made numerous films and books on him.You come off as a troll b/c you appear on 98 of 100 stories on the site.Like I said,everyone has an opinion,even if its idiotic.This site is awesome and Im very thankful for it,but internet jerks like you make me long for the days of magazine subscriptions and debates with friends in the 90s

    • Daniel, I don’t believe you’re a racist, it’s obvious you have a very strong bias, but I would never call you a racist. As an African American, I’m very sick of the Thug persona myself so I guess I have a bias as well. What you have to do though, is peel back the layers, people are not so one dimensional. Even if you don’t think Tupac was a good man, he was certainly an interesting figure worthy of having his story told. Who said someone had to be good in order to have their story told? I thought they just had to have a story worth telling.

  16. I also hate Eminem, Sean Penn and Lady Gagga. Does that mean I’m racist against White people as well?

    • Actually, Lady Gaga isn’t white, she’s Italian. :P

  17. Truth to be clear I never insulted his fans I just insulted him. You may not like it but it’s not technically an insult of the fans.

  18. I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of rap or hip hop though occasionally a song will come out I enjoy. However my insults and hatred toward topac come from the love and respect he gets despite having been an awful person. I mean saying Topac is a great person is like saying Mel Gibson is your hero.

    Let’s not forget this is the man who went to prison for sexual assault. Among the worst crimes you can commit in my opinion. There is never an excusse to lay your hands on a woman. He also came from a family that supported criminal activity. His father robbed an armored truck killing three men.

    Fault me for calling him a gangsta and a thug a you want but he called himself those very things.

    He wrote songs about murdering police officers. He pulled a gun out often and aimed it at people saying he would shoot. He even did it at a concert of his to his fans. He insulted the audience and their city and when someone got upset he pulled a gun on them. He dropped the gun and some how in the rukus a 6 year old was shot and died. He once almost ran over two cops. When they confronted him he shot them. He and his buddies brutally gang raped a girl. He participated in a gang war that eventualy got him killed.

    Yea he’s a hero.

    There are plenty of Rappers who have sold millions of records with out doing these god awful things why not respect them instead of a person this awful?

    Whatever I don’t like rapists and attempted murders with severe anger issues I must be racist.

    • You don’t know what kind of person Tupac was. You don’t even really know his music.

      You’re running your mouth about stuff you don’t know. That’s your whole M.O.

      And you are a racist. I don’t say that kind of thing often. But I know it about you. I read dozens of your posts every single day. Forms kind of a personality profile after awhile.

      All that stuff you cited about Tupac is exaggerated or inaccurate truth. For instance: Tupac was never proven to have raped anyone. It was people hanging out in his hotel room (the company he kept) who were implicated in that act. Tupac was the subject of controversy at the time and it was an opportunity to defame and humiliate an African-American who was gaining more and more influence and power over the youth. He was convicted because he was liable (it was his hotel room). Tupac did NOT hate women, when you make songs like “Dear Mama” and “Keep Your Head Up” – songs nobody in rap or any other music genre was making – then it is hard to believe you Daniel.

      Bottom Line: You don’t REALLY know what you’re talking about. As usual.

  19. I listed things that are facts that anyone could find out with a little research things that are a matter of public record and I don’t know what I’m talking about. If you say so.

    You say I don’t know Tupac so I can’t call him things despite having public record as evidence but you don’t know me and label me a racist because I don’t like criminals? It’s pointless to argue with you. Feel free to call me a racist all you want my girl friend would find that funny. I can’t really prove I’m not so it’s futile. Continue cursing at every one who doesn’t like something you do it’s what your good at. I’ll leave you to your idiocy.

    I may disagree with alot of you on this topic but I give respect to all of those who showed some dignity and avoided pulling the race card because I don’t like a specific rapper. Truth for example. You may of called me a few names but it’s clear your not a bad guy. We may disagree here but that’s life.

    • So in other words when someone has a criminal record that makes them a bad person is what you are saying? I have read numerous articles and heard countless articles on the sexual assault case,and all the facts sound like he was wrongly accused.I dont condone violence.Its an aspect of society that is killing humanity more and more.But to judge a person that you dont know,based upon the fact you think he’s a thug is as relevant as a band-aid for a dismembered limb.The man was far from perfect,we all have flaws.He grew up in poverty and in a world of violence,but he was far from trash,or talentless.The main thing that bothers me is the fact you basically insult his music when you clearly dont pay attention.If you arent going to see the movie,and you’re not going to listen to some of his music,then simply stop putting him down.Hip hop isnt for everybody,just like other music isnt for some people.The thing is,respect the man’s craft,his message and the philosopshy he had.He was a bright young man,whose lifestyle caused us to lose him too soon.

  20. Hopefully this will be better than the Biggie movie which was obviously whitewashed. At least Tupac’s mom isn’t producing and a proven director is behind the film. Fuqua didn’t cast actors instead of rappers in Brooklyn’s finest increasing the quality of that film. Hopefully he does the same in this movie and finds a good actor to play Tupac.

  21. Wow, this sure is a hot topic. Well, I’m black and have seen tupac in 2 movies, and I thought he did a very good job. I don’t listen to music with profanity, so I can’t comment about his songs. But a biopic about a boy growing up in poverty and crime, becoming a star and icon, trying to turn his life around but is killed by the people around him (sounds like Malcomb X) sounds like a good film to me. If I went by what the media has reported about him, I might sound like 790 or Daniel F. But I would like to ask both of you (790 and Daniel F): How much confidence do you put in the media? Do they always report the truth? I’m not saying Tupac didn’t do those things but we all know that the media spins its web through their personal political beliefs. I, for one, don’t trust every report I read.

  22. Why do you doubt the story of Tupac as a sensitive, romantic poet? Because you believe everything you see on TV? Or because you don’t believe young black males can be sensitive, romantic poets?

    Google ‘The rose that grew from concrete’, Tupac’s first volume of poetry written before he became a rapper. It reflects his romantic, sensitive nature and classical literary influences. Tupac was a well-read poet first and a rapper second. Like many sensitive young men, he hid his intelligent, more profound nature beneath a veneer of violent machismo. Thugs don’t give poets much respect.


  23. jwalka,,,its too bad that gang related sterotypes are prevalent in todays culture. Guys like Tupac and Eminem only keep the tratition alive.

    When artists promote volence and class racism I don’t suppport them. The over bass, heavy beat, retarded prison glam, sexual abusive related lyrics,,,
    Yeah I just don’t relate to that stuff. If you do that’s your deal.
    Besides the image rap creates its some of the absoulute worst “music” I’ve ever heard in my life.

    • Funny when a rapper who has lived his whole life around violence (you forgot the “I” in violence)and seen violence that when he talks about it a song he’s “promoting” it… but when an all white group like Maroon 5 (who I like) shoots a man in one of their videos (Wake Up Call) it just good music @790

  24. Kofi,,, good thing this isn’t your site. ;-)

    Your violent expression is the core of my point.
    Using the race card only makes you look bad Kofi,,,

    I didn’t say anything about hating black people.

    • Buddy, If I block you, you’ll stay blocked. So wink at that. Being SR Editor comes with it’s privileges – and you are nothing here. Just a flea in the ointment.

      Sooner or later, you will be swatted and I’ll be holding that swatter. Best believe. I’m a patient, patient man.

  25. Isn’t that how rappers talk, word up, yo,yo?
    oh that’s racist???
    @The Truth, your talking about respecting Tupac as an Icon then you compare him to other “icons” who are basically musicians that have died young either from drugs or violence.

    We will never see eye to eye on this as long as those are the people you look up to,,,

    • glad to see your still around 790 :)

    • I dont look up to anyone,but I respect someones capabilities and talents.I try not to jump into the role model arguement b/c I dont think we should have role models.People will always disappoint you some way or another,so I look to myself for admiration.In terms of your view on hip hop,I think its ignorant.Tupac never glorified prison life and he consistently rapped about violence.But his albums were some of the most socially conscious things you could hear and if you pay attention you may learn something.I usually take my day off to catch up on reading and news around the media and politics,but this has really been a day that pisses me off.

      Ive read some of the stuff you have written on threads at times,and you’re the type of troll who likes to cause problems and arguements.No,all rappers dont “talk” like yo yo or word up.That hasnt been said since the 90s,and maybe the late 80s.Rappers are very intelligent,talented and overall interesting individuals.Why dont you look up an interview with Immortal technique.An NYC rapper who raps about political wrong doings and issues of social standards.You’re simply a jerk when people honestly are tyring to comment on the things they like and enjoy.Im done with your ignorance and desperate acts for attention and responses.Hip Hop is about more than what you think.Its a culture and a way of life that can be positive and negative depending on the person and how they practice it and misinterpret it wrong.Just like Politics.

  26. This is good. Tupac is one of the few rappers I actually enjoyed. I can’t wait to see this.

  27. My thing is why do ppl always take the time to get on blogs ,pages or whatever and trash someone or something they hate or dislike, if you hate it why post anything…i mean you have to know you are gonna be hated on by true fans. I wouldnt even bother but I guess some ppl just have to say their point

  28. @Etrigan,
    “he hid his intelligent, more profound nature beneath a veneer of violent machismo.”
    Even if he did have talent, it seems it was corrupted by HipHop, yet that’s ok with you? Just a part of living in the hood? When is this subculture going to evolve out of the violence they wrap around themselves and call art???

    • There is great Hip Hop out there that isn’t just Rap music, especially on the Indie scene. Have you ever heard of The Roots? Talib Kweli, Common, Lupe Fiasco, B.o.B, N.E.R.D? Great Hip Hop artists who have persona that don’t involve a Thug caricature. The thug label is what SELLS and so it is what the corporations put out there. With that said though, music doesn’t have to be uplifting to be great, I think Lil Wayne’s a great artist despite his raw persona, and that’s an assessment I base off of the music. Listen, I’m a fan of the old stuff as well, Otis, Aretha, Ray, Stevie, Marvin, Jimi, Beatles, Dylan but I won’t cast out the music of today, as long as the music is good.

      I agree about Lady Gaga, great visual artist, but musically lacking. A gal named Janelle Monae, while lacking Gaga’s visual fireworks, (she only wears a tux) far outstrips her mainstream counterpart musically. Her latest effort, her first full-length debut, The Archandroid is an awesome genre defying piece of work. Check it out.

  29. @007, vIolence in todays pop music culture is abundant.
    Were living in a corporate war minded state.

    I’m not a fan of todays bands. Maroon5, Lady Gogo lol, their all crap.
    When they hire Oscar caliber talent to write Lady CaCa’s biopic look for me in the comments.