For years, the struggle to get an authorized Tupac Shakur biopic to the big screen has been riddled with controversy, including wars on music rights and a slew of other hurdles. And despite the trailer for All Eyez On Me — a biopic which will be released by Lionsgate in early June — there’s clearly more of the late icon’s story to tell.
According to Deadline, Steve McQueen is now set to direct the latest project, a full-length documentary about one of the most critically acclaimed rappers of all time.
In a statement, McQueen said, “I am extremely moved and excited to be exploring the life and times of this legendary artist. 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.”
The 12 Years A Slave director will team up with Nigel Sinclair’s White Horse Pictures and Jayson Jackson to produce the fully authorized project. Recently Sinclair has produced several musical films, including the recent Beatles documentary, The Beatles: Eight Days A Week–The Touring Years, while Jackson is known for his work on Whatever Happened, Miss Simone?, a Netflix-released documentary about the life of Nina Simone.
The deal was brokered between Tupac’s estate and Amaru Entertainment, the company created by the rapper/actor/poet’s late mother, Afeni Shakur. Her only sister, Tupac’s aunt, Gloria Cox, will executive produce.
Any biopic or documentary with a greenlight from the family and estate sounds promising. Deadline also reports that the McQueen-directed doc also has the support of Interscope records and Universal Music Publishing Group. Meaning we can already expect to hear a lot of music and intimate samples throughout the film.