John Singleton to Direct Tupac Shakur Biopic
John Singleton has signed on to rewrite, direct and produce an untitled biopic of the late rapper/actor Tupac Shakur.
Morgan Creek is financing in collaboration with Randall Emmett and George Furla's Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films. He will begin working on a draft of the screenplay immediately, with an eye toward a summer start date. With Singleton's involvement, the long-stalled project is getting a second life. Antoine Fuqua was attached to the project before falling off. Singleton also was loosely onboard as recently as two years ago, but his deal never closed, and he turned his attentions to the Taylor Lautner starrer Abduction.
The question now turns to who will play Shakur. Anthony Mackie played the slain rap star in the 2009 film Notorious about rival rapper Notorious B.I.G.
The director had firsthand experience with Shakur, who starred in Singleton's Poetic Justice opposite Janet Jackson.
"Tupac was the guy who I planned to do a lifetime of films with," Singleton said. "His passing deeply affected my life as well as countless people in this world. His life story is as important to my generation."
Singleton's directing credits include 2 Fast 2 Furious, the Shaft remake and Four Brothers. He also produced and co-financed Hustle & Flow. On the untitled Tupac Shakur film, he is producing alongside Morgan Creek's James G. Robinson and David Robinson as well as Program Pictures' LT Hutton. Shakur's mother, Afeni Shakur, will serve as executive producer.
He is repped by WME, Trevor Engelson at Underground and attorney Stephen Barnes at Morris Yorn Barnes.