John Singleton to Direct Tupac Shakur Biopic
Long-gestating biopic about Tupac Shakur has found a director. John Singleton, who once directed the late rapper/actor in 1993's romantic drama "Poetic Justice" opposite Janet Jackson, is on board the project to rewrite, direct and produce the biographic movie.
"Tupac was the guy who I planned to do a lifetime of films with," the Oscar-nominated helmer ("Boyz n the Hood", "Four Brothers", "2 Fast 2 Furious") says in a statement. "His passing deeply affected my life as well as countless people in this world. His life story is as important to my generation."
The biopic has been in development hell since 2011. One of the roadblocks was a legal battle between producer/financier Morgan Creek and the lyricist's mother Afeni Shakur. Both parties settled their dispute before the case went to trial, and Afeni now serves as an executive producer.
The movie is expected to begin production later this year. It reportedly will tell 2Pac's zero-to-hero story and his murder on September 13, 1996 when he was gunned in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. No actor has been cast, but he was previously portrayed by Anthony Mackie in 2009's "Notorious" about rival rapper Notorious B.I.G.
Aside from the upcoming biopic, a Broadway show inspired by the late rapper is also in the works. Titled after one of his songs, "Holler If Ya Hear Me", it is set to premiere at the Palace Theater on May 26. Director Kenny Leon says it will explore anti-violence and "unconditional love story" featuring the MC's music.
In 2012, Shakur was resurrected on stage via a hologram appearance during Dr. Dre's set at Coachella Music Festival. The live virtual performance which also featured Snoop Dogg created a buzz on the web and became talk of the town for weeks.
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