In light of the 20 year anniversary of cult classic Menace II Society, key actors from the film have stepped forward to reflect on the precedent it set and why 2Pac wasn’t a part of the movie.
According to actor Tyrin Turner, who played Caine, a heated dispute between the late rapper and film director Allen Hughes led to Pac’s inevitable absence.
A young Jada Pinkett-Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, Clifton Powell, Charles S. Dutton, Bill Duke and MC Eiht rounded out the cast. Tupac Shakur was also cast for the 1993 classic, but a well-documented fight between the fiery rapper/actor and Allen Hughes put the brakes on that. “We at a table reading, and Tupac’s just annoyed. We’re trying to read and he’s just annoyed,” Turner recalled to “RapFix Live” when he and Larenz Tate appeared to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the film. (MTV)
Shakur reportedly wanted to play a key role in the 1993 drama.
Originally ‘Pac was picked to play Sharif, a college-bound good kid trapped in the confines of a violence-plagued South Central Los Angeles. Shakur craved a bigger, meatier role, but he and the film’s directors didn’t see eye to eye. “The director and him had words and Tupac was no longer a part of it,” Turner continued. (MTV)
Prior to his passing in 1996, Pac spoke on his issues with Hughes.
“The Hughes Brothers did all my videos. After I did Juice, they said ‘Can we use your name to get this movie deal? I said ‘Hell, yeah.’ When I got with John Singleton, he told me he wanted to be ‘Scorsese to your DeNiro.’ For starring roles I just want you to work with me. So I told the Hughes brothers, I only wanted a little role. But I didn’t tell them I wanted a sucker role. We was arguing about that in rehearsal. They said to me, ‘ever since you got with John Singleton’s sh*t, you changed.’ They was trippin’ cuz they got this thing with John Singleton. They feel like they competing with him.” (VIBE)
Training Day and Brooklyn’s Finest director Antoine Fuqua previously hit up SOHH and spoke on his favorite urban films like Menace II Society.
“There’s a few of them out there man that I feel were good, especially the impact they had when they first came out. I think John Singleton’s Boyz N The Hood was a good movie, a good solid movie, you know, that dealt with that. Menace II Society was really good, that had a good feel as far as the texture. New Jack [City], I liked New Jack, that was just a more colorful version, you know what I mean? It was a little more of a hyper-reality version [of urban films]. So yeah, man, all those movies I liked.” (SOHH Guest Star)