By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 11, 2011 at 2:50AM
Looks like some PR reps were playing their cards very close to the chest. Last month, some rumors began circulating about Antoine Fuqua's gestating biopic of rapper Tupac Shakur with an April start date being whispered for the film. We made some inquiries and were told an April production start for the film wasn't in the cards as Fuqua would be busy shooting the pilot for Fox's "Exit Strategy." But it's clear that some of those rumors had a basis for truth as the film is definitely moving forward and while it might not lens in April, don't be surprised if in May the pieces start coming together.
Deadline reports that filming is set to begin with "Tupac" in late spring or early summer and that casting is underway (leaked character lists are what got those rumors last month started in the first place). While the logline for the film vaguely says that the picture will chronicle "the life and legacy of Tupac Shakur, including his rise to superstardom as a hip hop artist and actor, as well as his imprisonment and prolific, controversial time at Death Row Records, where he was steeped in the East coast/West coast rap war," last year it was revealed that the script would follow Tupac on his final days while flashing back to the final four years of his life.
"[It's] not in any way biopic-y," said screenwriter Stephen J. Rivele last summer (he re-worked the original draft of the script by Steven Bagatourian with Chris Wilkinson) "I knew nothing about [Shakur, but upon research] it became clear that he was essentially a 19th century Romantic poet who found himself in the 21st century... He was just beginning to shed that anger and look for a purer voice...He was in the process of changing himself, and entering a new phase of his life — essentially a Romantic vision — and had set up a new label, and a new production company to create it."
No word yet on who will play the iconic, game-changing rapper, but Fuqua has previously stated he would be looking for an unknown. And while music biopics are right up our alley, we hope this one isn't as lifeless "Notorious" would up being.