The struggle to create a Tupac Shakur biopic has been a long one, and after an agreement was finally reached between Morgan Creek Productions – with the backing of Training Day director Antoine Fuqua – and Shakur's mother Afeni, the fate of the project took another downturn when Fuqua went into talks to lead Southpaw. The boxing drama would put rapper Eminem in the spotlight as the tragic hero/welterweight champion, marking his return to the big screen after 2002's 8 Mile.
Morgan Creek had other ideas, though, when they altered Fuqua's contract to pay-or-play, making him obligated to direct the Tupac film, as long as the studio makes the movie. He'd be paid if Morgan Creek doesn't tackle the biopic, but that's unlikely to happen after the company endured a long legal battle with Shakur's mother to get things rolling.
With this new contractual commitment in tow, a Tupac film is more likely to happen. The L.A. Times 24 Frames blog thinks it's possible Fuqua will make both movies and even release the Tupac biopic first if scheduling works out. While Morgan Creek deciphers how to cast the film – they're considering using an unknown (with similar looks and background) who would require an acting coach – whose story are you vying for more?
Tupac's tragic death – like Biggie Smalls' – guaranteed him hip-hop immortality. It makes more sense for Fuqua to focus on this biopic, given the artist's legacy and cultural impact. Plus, if friend/rival Biggie got a movie, it seems appropriate that Tupac should get some screen time. While Eminem performed well as the star in 8 Mile, we're not certain of his acting prowess since he was basically playing himself in the Curtis Hanson-directed biopic. Of course, you might still be teetering on the fact that we're talking about director Antoine Fuqua – the guy who basically ruined Chow Yun Fat's American Debut in The Replacement Killers – but start getting cozy with the idea now and let us know which MC you're hoping to see on the big screen.