News: 2Pac Biopic Dispute Trial Date Announced, Filming Postposted Until 2010

Saturday, Sep 5, 2009 1:55PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

The legal dispute between production rights for a Tupac Shakur biopic has reportedly been put off until spring 2010 forcing all possible production and filming to be postponed.

The decision was made last week in favor of Pac's mother, Afeni Shakur.

Morgan Creek Productions made legal moves to have the counter-suit dismissed, but Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard E. Rico upheld Amaru Entertainment's claim and set an April 13, 2010 trial date for the case. After the ruling, Amaru Entertainment's lawyer, Skip Miller, expressed his satisfaction with the company's first victory in the battle. "We are pleased with the court's ruling -- It supports our claim that Morgan Creek tortiously interfered with the making of the Tupac Shakur movie. I look forward to trying this case and have the jury decide the matter. Morgan Creek has a history of bullying people into giving them rights they did not acquire. This time, they picked on the wrong people." (The Boom Box)

Afeni previously lashed back at film company Morgan Creek, filing a $10 million cross-complaint lawsuit that claims a prearranged 2pac biopic was never agreed upon, despite Creek's allegations.

Amaru Entertainment claims that Morgan Creek, CEO James Robinson and others tried to strong-arm a deal for Tupac movie rights, then sabotaged the project when Amaru attempted to set it up elsewhere. "Instead of negotiating in good faith with [Amaru], they sought to obtain the rights by concocting a nonexistent 'agreement' and engaging in heavy-handed threats, coercion and intimidation to interfere with and ultimately destroy the film project," Amaru claims. Amaru is seeking a court declaration that there never was a deal. (Reuters)

She released a statement regarding Creek's lawsuit last winter.

"We felt it was important to bring the story of Tupac Shakur, one of music's most remarkable icons, to life on-screen," a statement read. "We have been in discussions and negotiations with several major studios and production companies, including Morgan Creek Productions. However, at no time did we have an agreement with Morgan Creek. (Press Release)

Creek's lawsuit is based upon an alleged arrangement made with Shakur last year.

According to the complaint, a written contract was in place for life rights, with Morgan Creek claiming that Amaru is "refus(ing) to honor and perform a contract of a production of the film based on the life of Tupac Shakur." The company seeks damages and other relief. But late Wednesday (February 18), Amaru's lawyers denied the existence of a deal. (Billboard)

Check out a interview with Afeni Shakur below:

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