Tupac Shakur may have died over a decade ago, but the legacy of the man from his music to his philosophy continues to live on. And considering how much of an impact he has had on popular culture, and how interesting his life story is, I’m surprised that a movie based on his life took so long to finally come to fruition, but come to fruition it has. Deadline reports that Tupac will start production in the late-spring/early summer time, shooting on location in New York City (where he grew up), Los Angeles, Georgia, and Las Vegas. Morgan Creek Productions is behind the picture and has brought on Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) to direct from a script by Steve Bagatourian, Stephen J. Rivele, and Christopher Wilkinson. Tupac’s mother Afeni Shakur will serve as an executive producer.
Tupac Shakur’s life was anything but boring: born in East Harlem but soon relocating to California, Shakur first rose to prominence as an artist as part of Digital Underground, a hip-hop group that had a hit with “The Humpty Dance” in the early 90′s (although you should listen to the rest of their stuff because they are excellent). He released his first solo album in 1991 while still with the group but soon broke off on his own. Along with the music, he began appearing in movies like 1992′s Juice and 1993′s Poetic Justice alongside fellow music artist Janet Jackson.
But Tupac was known for more than just his creativity and he ran foul of the law many times over the course of his life and served a prison sentence from February-October 1995. After his prison term, he joined Death Row Records one of the most notorious record labels in hip-hop and helped start the “East Cost/West Coast” war with New York-based Bad Boy Records who had The Notorious B.I.G. as their top star. Shakur was gunned down September 7, 1996 after a Mike Tyson fight in Las Vegas and died as a result on September 13th. To this day, rumors persist that he faked his death due to the sheer volume of albums released after his death, but obviously those rumors are unsubstantiated.
Suffice to say, there’s enough drama that went on during his short life that there’s enough to mine at least a two hour movie out of, if not more. Along with Tupac’s upbringing, you’ve got his early rap career, his run-ins with the law, the November 1994 incident where he was shot five times and robbed outside of a recording studio B.I.G. was recording at, the whole East Coast/West Coast rivalry…the list goes on and on (and has already been talked about in the previous paragraphs). With someone like Fuqua as the director, who is known for making grittier films, I think this could be one of the few good musician biopics to be released. I just really hope they don’t use the usual biopic opening where the subject thinks about his life right before a big show. That’s been done to death at this point.
Casting is currently underway, and once we find out who will take the role of Tupac, you will find out. Trust me.
Are you interested in a Tupac Shakur biopic or would you rather it be left alone by Hollywood?
BAMCinématek A new series entitled “Black & White ’Scope: American Cinema” commences this weekend, and, as for the series itself, with a Wilder double-bill on Friday: The Apartment and One, Two, Three. Manhattan screens on Saturday, while The Hustler can be seen this Sunday. Museum of the Moving Image The Gordon Willis tribute concludes with […]
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