Last week, director John Singleton (Poetic Justice, Boyz n the Hood) announced that the long-development biopic of Tupac Shakur had been put on hold. He insisted that they were “trying to figure out some things,” but ultimately concluded that, “If somebody else wants to do something different then they can do something different.” Those words proved quite prophetic as he’s since been replaced by director Carl Franklin (Out of Time, House of Cards). However, he still plans to make a film of his own.
“The reason I am not making this picture is because the people involved aren’t really respectful of the legacy of Tupac Amaru Shakur,” Singleton explained in an Instagram post announcing his departure. “To Pac’s real fans, just know I am still planning a movie on Tupac. It doesn’t matter what they do, mine will be better. Tupac was much more than a hip hop artist. He was a black man guided by his passions. Of most importance was his love of black people and culture … something the people involved in this movie know nothing about.
“How you gonna make a movie about a man when you suing his mother to get the rights to tell his story,” he continued. “They have no true love 4 Pac so this movie will not be made with love! And that’s why my ass isn’t involved! If Tupac knew what was going on he’d ride on all these fools and take it to the streets … but I won’t do that. I’ll just make my own project. What ya’ll think about that?!”
Two simultaneous biopics is nothing new, as Hollywood is notorious for issuing two films of the same nature each year. Anyone remember Volcano and Dante’s Peak? Armageddon and Deep Impact? A Bug’s Life and Antz? Capote and Infamous? If audiences sat through those, they can handle two stories of Shakur. While it’s uncertain when Singleton’s vision will make it to film, Franklin will continue to work on the current picture being developed by Morgan Creek.