Morgan Creek’s Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez on Me is beginning to pick up the pace – finally! – now that Variety reports American Sniper star Cory Hardrict has landed the coveted role of Haitian Jack.
Joining a cast that already boasts Danai Gurira, Kat Graham, Jamie Hector and Demetrius Shipp Jr., Hardrict’s role is about the closest thing to a bona fide villain for a rap biopic. Considered to be one of the most formidable presences in the hip-hop community at the time, Haitian Jack proved a constant adversary for Tupac Shakur all throughout his decorated and tragically short career.
Barring brief cameos in 2009’s Notorious and this year’s excellent Straight Outta Compton, a standalone feature film focusing on Tupac’s celebrated career proved to be a difficulty butterfly to pin. While languishing in development amidst threats of multi-million dollar lawsuits, Antoine Fuqua, John Singleton and later Carl Franklin were all attached to direct at varying points, but ultimately the mantle was passed to commercial director Benny Boom, who aims to “uphold the legacy” of one Tupac Shakur.
It’s off to a good start, too; in a similar vein to Notorious and Straight Outta Compton, All Eyez On Me is the title of Shakur’s fourth studio album that was released in ’96. At his peak, the late musical icon was a true force of nature, and is still widely considered to be one of the best rappers of all time with 75 million album sales to his name as of 2007. He passed away in 1996.
Filming for All Eyez On Me is already underway in Atlanta ahead of a planned release in either late 2016 or early 2017, depending on whether Morgan Creek decides to fast-track production.