The biopic for late rapper Tupac Shakur is beginning to take shape as it has now been revealed two Oscar-nominated screenwriters will be attached to the upcoming project.
Details on writing changes have been released online and suggest the focus will be on Pac’s last day on Earth.
Oscar-nominated screenwriters Stephen J. Rivele and Chris Wilkinson (Ali, Nixon) have just been hired to write the Tupac Shakur biopic, which means the Antoine Fuqua-directed film could begin shooting by mid-November. (No cast yet; Fuqua is looking for an unknown to play the late rapper.) While the writing partners are known for adapting true lives and stories — they also worked on the Moneyball script, and an upcoming Jackie Robinson story — Wilkinson tells Vulture that the key to this script is an approach that “is not in any way biopic-y.” That’s a big change in direction for the project. An initial draft written by Steven Bagatourian (2005’s American Gun) was largely documentary in style, simply laying out the facts of the slain rapper-poet-actor’s brief 25-year life. But Wilkinson says that their script will center on the last day of Tupac’s life, flashing back to show the final four years leading up to it. (NY Mag)
Training Day and Brooklyn’s Finest director Antoine Fuqua is expected to direct the project.
“It looks like we’re doing Tupac Shakur’s movie next in September, that’s what I’ve been starting up and working on now,” he said. “I’ve been working on that for a while with Morgan Creek and Jim Robinson. I just got the greenlight from him and we’re going in September. I’ve just started to prep that.” Fuqua added that he is hoping to find an unknown actor to portray the iconic hip-hop star, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in 1996. “That’s the goal, I want to discover someone new,” he explained. “I want to discover a lot of new people if I can. Obviously I’m going to have to put some people in it that you know, just because actors have different skills. I want to go to the streets and find him anywhere he might be in the world.” (Digital Spy)
Last year, the late rapper’s mother, Afeni Shakur, began a legal battle for Pac’s life rights.
A legal turf war has broken out between production company Morgan Creek and the estate of Tupac Shakur. Morgan Creek has sued Amaru Entertainment, the company run by Afeni Shakur, the late rapper’s mother and executor, alleging in a Los AngelesSuperior Court filing that the company has backed out of an agreement to sell his life rights for a film adaptation. (Billboard)
Earlier this year, Fuqua spoke with SOHH about rappers trying their hand at acting.
“You know what man, I got love for anybody that’s just trying to do different things as an artist, it’s great. If they want to move into whatever other thing they want to do, as far as acting is concerned, the thing I don’t like about it is sometimes rappers think you can fake your way through real acting. You can’t fake your way through real acting. A lot of cats have to really learn what they’re doing and what the craft is, you know what I mean? And it’s so that they can be stronger at it. So that they are real actors then, I only have an issue when they try to jump right into it and just do it just because they’re popular rappers. You know, you see them on the screen and they just don’t, it doesn’t translate. It’s not translating the way it does when they’re behind the mic, nobody can really see them or when they’re in their little zone doing their thing.” (SOHH)
No further details have been revealed as of now.
Check out a past Tupac Shakur interview below: