Whispers of a Tupac Shakur biopic have been around since Sept. 14, 1996. That was the day after the rapper died from gunshot wounds in Las Vegas.
At the time of his death at the age of 25, Tupac was arguably hip-hop's biggest star for all the wrong and right reasons. Numerous arrests and run-ins with the law, chart-topping albums that included All Eyez on Me, the first double-disc full-length rap album ever to be released — Tupac's life was as public as a life could be. Even his murder took place right off the Las Vegas strip on the night of a huge Mike Tyson fight, from which he was leaving.
So it's no wonder that a movie about his life has been anticipated for so many years, without ever getting off the ground. But now we may actually see Tupac's life story on the silver screen. According to Deadline, it's looking more possible than ever because two production companies are bringing their finances together to fund the film.
Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films is teaming with Morgan Creek Productions to co-finance and co-produce Tupac, creating a new urgency for the long-gestating biopic on the hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur. They are working with a script by Eddie Gonzalez and Jeremy Haft, and a new draft is expected in two weeks. Several companies battled for the rights to partner on the film with Jim Robinson’s Morgan Creek before MCP president David Robinson sealed the deal with EFO. They are eyeing a February start date and a $45 million budget. They have the rights to exploit Tupac’s musical catalog, and his mother, Afeni Shakur, will be a producer on the film.
If all goes according to the reported schedule, it will be a busy 2014 for Afeni Shakur. Work has already begun on Holla If You Hear Me, a Broadway musical inspired by and using the music of Tupac. Kenny Leon is directing, and Shakur is one of the show's co-producers. Thus far, neither a director for the film nor the actor who would play Tupac has been named.
Read more at Deadline.
Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at VerySmartBrothas.com and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.