Back in February of 2014 we were very excited to report that John Singleton would be the man who would be producing the long awaited Tupac Shakur biopic that has been talked about for quite sometime now. This was significant because many of you know that Singleton actually knew Tupac personally. He very famously directed Tupac opposite Janet Jackson in his acclaimed 1993 film Janet Jackson. Having said that it now disappoints us to say that Singleton, who would have been instrumental in the film’s completion, has now quit the project. If you are as shocked as we are, and can’t help but wonder why he would leave this project, he took the time to answer our questions on an Instagram . You can see John Singleton complete statement below!
Real talk! The reason I am not making this picture is because the people involved aren’t really respectful of the legacy of Tupac Amaru Shakur. I won’t say much if you want you can read my articles in Hollywood Reporter on authenticity in Black Storytelling … To Pac’s real fans just know I am still planning a movie on Tupac … It doesn’t matter what they do mines 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… Real talk! How you gonna make a movie about a man when you suing his mother to get the rights to tell his story?! 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 Yall think about that?!!
Singleston’s words speak volumes about the status of this film. Recent history has shown us with both of the Lifetime biopics about Aaliyah and Whitney Houston, that when a film is done without the permission of anyone associated with the performers, it results in a universally negative reaction from all who see the films. Tupac, who played a role in the real life story of The Notorious B.I.G., was featured as a supporting character in his 2009 biopic, Notorious. (played By Anthony Mackie) While, Notorious was done with the permission of B.I.G.’s mother, his former managers, and Sean “Diddy” Combs, Tupac’s role in the story was minimized and only showed a fraction of not only Pac’s personality, but also his friendship and later feud with B.I.G.
However, Singleton’s departure from the film still hasn’t stopped this project. It was recently announced that Singleton will be replaced by Carl Franklin. Franklin is a long time player in film and television not only as a director, but also as an actor. In front of the camera he is best known for appearing in 16 episodes of The A Team. As a director Franklin is best known for directing episodes of hit Showtime shows like Homeland, and The Affair, and most notably for his work on four episodes of House Of Cards for Netflix. We will keep you posted on the continuing changes for this Tupac Shakur biopic as more details become available.
Poetic Justice 1993 Trailer (Starring Tupac Shakur And Directed by John Singleton )