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Will a Tupac Shakur film ever get some California love?

June 13, 2011 |  8:04 pm

Tupac Few movie projects have been as hotly anticipated among music fans — or for that matter as embattled — as a Tupac Shakur biopic.

After a two-year legal battle, a settlement in February between producers Morgan Creek and Shakur's mother, Afeni, looked to finally clear the way for the film to get made. Then the project took what looked like a body blow last week when director Antoine Fuqua ("Training Day") entered negotiations to helm a movie centered on a different rapper, Eminem.

Fuqua had been Afeni Shakur's choice; without him, the Tupac film would not only to have to start from scratch but find someone who was equally satisfactory to the late rapper's mother.

But instead of letting Fuqua walk, Morgan Creek has now responded with a stroke of its own. The company has made Fuqua pay-or-play — a piece of Hollywood lingo that means Fuqua will get paid even if the company doesn't make the movie with him. Essentially, it commits producers to Fuqua and makes it on balance more likely a film will get made. A Morgan Creek spokesman confirmed the move.

Fuqua could now conceivably direct both the Eminem and the Tupac films — and, if things break right, even direct the Tupac movie first.

Morgan Creek does have to grapple with casting the lead part. While the company has looked at several veteran actors, a person familiar with the production who asked anonymity because of the sensitive nature of casting discussions said producers are leaning toward an unknown who has a similar look and background to the Harlem-born, California-raised star. They would then coach him on the acting skills. (Other rap biopics, like the Biggie Smalls tale "Notorious," have employed a similar tactic.) But filmmakers have yet to agree on a casting direction. A Morgan Creek spokesman declined to comment on casting.

Had he lived, Tupac Shakur would have turned 40 on Thursday. His legacy remains strong — nearly 40 million records sold in the U.S. and a cultural influence that far exceeds that. Those involved in developing a feature about him, though, could be forgiven for feeling sometimes like it's them against the world.

ALSO:

Eminem and Training Day director look to team up for a new film

Ben Stiller and 'SNL' veteran look to team on new comedy

Selena Gomez starts to move away from her Disney roots -- sort of

— Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT


 
Comments () | Archives (10)

The comments to this entry are closed.

The last line was a bit much

Anyone notice a resemblance between Tupac and Dwayne Wade?

Are you serious....Eminem OVER Tupac? How is this even a debate. This movie could easily go horribly wrong if not done right. ::crossy fingers::

Lol! Spot on Big Al...

so wth was 8 mile about then??!! they should only do tupac if theyre ready to deliever. tupac was the greatest that ever lived, point blank period.

NO! do people still care about TUPAC?! just kidding. Its L.A., HELL YEAH it'll get some love!

@crystal

Apparently you didnt read the part that said Antoine can easily do BOTH the 2Pac & Eminem movies. After directing such an all-time CLASSIC as "Training Day" it is great finally seeing Antoine Fuqua with the chance to really breakout into the level of fame & fortune he so clearly DESERVES.

No sense holding him back with ridiculous notions like the crazy idea that a man with Mr Fuqua's obvious genius & skills cannot do two major projects at the same time.

I know whatever he does, Fuqua needs to do that Tupac movie and do that is RIGHT. Better than that "Notorious" MESS. Then he can do whatever with Eminem. Doesn't matter...I won't be racing to the cinema to see that. But the Tupac movie????? Front row and CENTERRRRRR

According to AllHipHop, Isaac’s confession came after being identified in a statement by Jimmy Henchman who is currently on the run for alleged drug dealings http://bit.ly/ldKifW

My favorite rapper of all time. I name my son Tupac. when yall do this movie we should be crying when we leave the show. I know eminem a good rapper but not on a level with pac. I could wait on an eminem movie to come to dvd or get it bootleg. But a pac movie I would have to get my movie ticket ASAP.


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