This is a surprise! We've long covered director Antoine Fuqua's plans to produce a feature length film based on the life of Tupac Shakur, with most recent news of his intent to cast unknowns in the starring roles, even launching a web-based nationwide search.

Now, the Los Angeles Times film blog, 24 Frames, is reporting that the director has walked away from that project. Why? Nothing available on the reason(s) yet, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough. As is often the case, I'll wager that financing (or the lack of) was a factor.

But Fuqua already apparently has another project to replace that one - a boxing drama starring another rapper, Eminem, titled Southpaw, which is expected to shoot later this year.

What's Southpaw about? Says 24 Frames:

"Southpaw" tells of a lefty welterweight whose life is buffeted by tragedy even as he's fought his way to a title; it's informed by struggles in Eminem's own life.

So where does that leave the Tupac film? Your guess is as good as mine.

As an aside... I'm really not interested in seeing another film about a white boxer! What happened to Spike Lee's Joe Louis project?