John Singleton Out As Tupac Biopic Director

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by Tambay A. Obenson
November 16, 2011 7:22 PM
9 Comments
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He's in; he's out; all this after Antoine Fuqua seemed like a sure-thing to helm the project, after all the reports earlier this year about him holding open casting calls, looking for unknowns to play the film's pivotal roles. 

Now both of them are officially out of contention; so who's up next? 

Variety notes:

It's back to the drawing board on the Tupac Shakur movie, as John Singleton has dropped out of discussions to direct the long-gestating biopic... Singleton... couldn't seal the deal to helm the project for Universal Pictures and Morgan Creek. He's the second director to drop out after Antoine Fuqua struggled to cast Shakur. Now that unenviable task will be someone else's headache.

To be frank, I'm not exactly itching to see a Tupac biopic. If it never happens, that'll be just fine with me. If it does happen, I won't be in any big rush to see it either.

However, I'm now wondering why it's apparently been such a challenge to get one of these 2 directors (who both seem passionate about the subject matter) to see the project through.

F. Gary Gray you're up next! Don't be surprised if this eventually lands in the hands of Peter Berg :)

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9 Comments

  • GARY S | April 8, 2012 7:31 PMReply

    i DON'T CARE WHO DIRECTS IT. iT IS GOING TO BE A"MUST SEE" FOR THE WHOOOOLE WORLD. IT MUST BE DONE. HE DESERVES IT

  • Jelly | December 22, 2011 7:02 AMReply

    F- all dat director Affordable worthy bullsh*t and if anybody deserves a Biopic, its Pac. I'm sure he has da must interesting untold story ever. We just need the right people on the job. Some people can't handle that, that's understandable but I know there's someone out there who can. And if your out there please come forth an take this project, it will b worth it. Dont abandon Pac like that or his fans.....

  • jognson | December 3, 2011 9:12 AMReply

    F that! do the biopic...you can't tell me you wouldn't go see it if it comes out...i'll be buying dat shit on Blu-muthaphukin-Ray!

  • Xi | November 17, 2011 7:59 PMReply

    C'mon guys! We all know this is a job for Quentin Tarantino. I kid. I kid. But I will admit that Andre Seewood's description just renewed my excitement for a Tupac Biopic. I would love to see a movie with that kind of construction. And maybe it would only be an indie work, pushed underground for those worthy enough to see it, making it even more authentic. Mmmm I'm salivating at the thought. #daydreams

  • CareyCarey | November 16, 2011 9:44 PMReply

    “In truth, perhaps the TUPAC story is too complex and controversial to tell. There are so many characters, changes in the rap music industry, suspicions, lies and rumors” ~ Andre Seewood. While reading Andres’s brilliant assessment of the obstacles stacked against a Tupac biopic, I felt the robust winds of other hot debates on S & A and it made me think...Uuummm... Check this ----> It would almost have to be a film told from MULTIPLE POINTS OF VIEW, a film that would demand a different style, a radically different style than the standard biopic film format that we have all grown accustomed to; but neither the contemporary African-American audience nor the current crop of African-American filmmakers (held captive by budget constraints and foreshortened development timelines) would be able to tolerate such an audacious approach ~ Andre. *STOP* Now, did you smell that? Can you hear that? Well, here comes SERGIO with a similar opinion: Back in July I asked this question on S & A and after a conversation I had with a friend earlier today about Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained I thought maybe it's time to revisit the question again. That is can a black filmmaker make a serious film about slavery? The answer to my question would have to be a responding NO! There's no way you can get white people to watch themselves dehumanizing, degrading and brutalizing black people on the big screen... AND wounds of slavery are still too deep, too painful for black people. You can be sure as well that it’s NOT going to be even REMOTELY the most ACCURATE depiction of slavery ever recorded on film. Safer to stick with rom-coms instead *STOP* Then Perivi John Katjavivi came to the following conclusion: Whether it happens in the near or distant feature remains to be seen. I also think we have to find NEW ways to tell 'THIS' story. As a Namibian, you have to remember that just because 'we' did not experience the African American experience of slavery, does not overshadow the fact that we experienced another kind in the forms of both colonialism and Apartheid where forms of slavery and genocide were in abundance. That being said I actually would argue that there are PLENTY of stories about slavery besides the African-American experience. So why can't we take A BUNCH of filmmakers and give them random stories about slavery (insert) [Topac Story] to direct: *STOP* Andre again: It would almost have to be a film told from multiple points of view, a film that would demand a different style, a radically different style. Arab East-African slavery--> insert/juxtapose ---> [Suge Knight and Pac]; or a Brazilian from Bahia adapting Ben Okri's Must Read 'Starbook [The Hughes Brothers and Pac, Digital Underground and Pac]; or Nigerian filmmaker Andrew Dowunso directing a film about Patrice L'Overture [Singleton and Pac]; or a Zimbabwean shooting a bio-pic of Nat Turner [The shooting at Quad Studios, the rape charges, his work ethic]. We need to expand the way we see the issue of slavery [ Tupac’s Bio] and 'who' is allowed to tell it [Dr. DRE and PAC?, , , , Jada Pinkett and Pac?, Janet Jackson and Pac?] *STOP*... Yes folks, there are many stories with a variety of subplots. Can the definitive stories of Tupac and slavery ever come to fruition, in one package? Well, not if you ask Andre, Sergio and Perivi John Katjavivi. I do know that John Singleton should not be allowed to even sniff the scripts.

  • Valsadie | November 16, 2011 9:05 PMReply

    Looking at your list, I remembered Kidada Jones and Pac, Quincy Jones and Pac... I'm becoming more and more convinced that a biopic of Pac isn't all that good an idea. This configuration fell apart--? Maybe it's just as well...

  • Andre Seewood | November 16, 2011 8:14 PMReply

    All of these directorial changes perhaps signal that the project itself should not be done. Not that people wouldn't like to see a Tupac biopic but if it is a choice between not having one and having a weak, by-the-numbers biopic that follows the simple rags to riches to sudden death plot points I know I'd rather not see the film made at all. I think we can all remember the holes and problems in NOTORIOUS; those of us who were fans of Tupac certainly don't want a half-written film with the only thing holding the scenes together being the music. In truth, perhaps the TUPAC story is too complex and controversial to tell. There are so many characters, changes in the rap music industry, suspicions, lies and rumours. How would one even begin to account for the situation between Dr. DRE and PAC, The Hughes Brothers and Pac, Digital Underground and Pac, The shooting at Quad Studios (which would have to be a major reoccuring sequence in the film), the rape charges, his work ethic, Suge Knight and Pac, Jada Pinkett and Pac, Janet Jackson and Pac, Singleton and Pac... It would almost have to be a film told from multiple points of view, a film that would demand a different style, a radically different style than the standard biopic film format that we have all grown accustomed to; but neither the contemporary African-American audience (weened on Tyler Perry) nor the current crop of African-American filmmakers (held captive by budget constraints and foreshortened development timelines) would be able to tolerate such an audacious approach. I mean this a film about Tupac (a rapper) not Oliver Stone's JFK for pete's sake...

  • Neziah | November 17, 2011 4:30 PM

    Exactly. There's too much pressure because of everything Tupac represents in the hop hop community. If a biopic about him is made and not done right, his legacy would be tarnished forever, especially considering that many whites see a film about a black icon and think it's 100 percent true. *cringes*

  • Tyler | November 17, 2011 10:24 AM

    I agree with Andre 120%.

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