12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen to helm a new documentary about Tupac

Fully authorized documentary is backed by Tupac's estate as well as the late musician's record label


This year has been a timely reminder of Tupac Shakur’s immense impact on hip-hop and pop culture. The fallen rapper-actor was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month and a new biopic, All Eyez On Me, hits theaters this summer. More exciting news came through the pipeline today, as it was revealed that 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen is making a fully authorized, feature-length documentary about Tupac.

According to Deadline, estate trustee Tom Whalley and Amaru Entertainment, the company created by Afeni Shakur to release her son’s posthumous projects, are teaming with Nigel Sinclair’s White Horse Pictures and Jayson Jackson to produce the documentary. Gloria Cox, Tupac’s aunt and Afeni Shakur’s only sister, will serve as executive producer and promises to ensure the project will be true to her nephew and sister’s original vision.

“This [documentary] was something that my nephew (Tupac) was very passionate about creating in 1996, and my sister (Afeni) since before her passing this last May,” Cox said. “I feel like we have a team she (Afeni) would be very pleased with. It has never been our intention to rewrite the story of Tupac. Our goal has always been to tell the true story, which has never been done before in such a complete way.”

“My sister always said to me, ‘We are not in the business of defending Tupac. Our job is to allow him to be seen in the most complete way, so his actions, his choices, and his words will allow him to speak for himself.’ I believe this film will do exactly that.”

“I am extremely moved and excited to be exploring the life and times of this legendary artist,” McQueen added. “I attended NYU film school in 1993 and can remember the unfolding hip-hop world and mine overlapping with Tupac’s through a mutual friend in a small way. Few, if any shined brighter than Tupac Shakur. I look forward to working closely with his family to tell the unvarnished story of this talented man.”

In addition to Tupac’s estate, the documentary will have the support of Interscope Records, which released most of Tupac’s catalog, and Universal Music Publishing Group. Access to his music will help the documentary capture one important aspect of his life and give the film that much more impact.

Before McQueen gets started, however, the director is helming a female-led heist movie, Widows, starring Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, Colin Farrell, Liam Neeson, and more. Production is set to commence shortly.

There’s no word yet about whether the documentary will address any of the numerous conspiracy theories about Tupac over the years, like whether he’s actually alive and well in Cuba, but here’s hoping.


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