Barring fleeting cameo roles in both 2009’s Notorious and this year’s excellent Straight Outta Compton, rap legend Tupac Shakur is still to be the center of attention in a feature film.
It’s not for want of trying, either; setting up shop at production company Morgan Creek, a biopic about the late, great artist has flirted with development since 2011, when Antoine Fuqua was attached to direct. But after languishing in pre-production amid a string of musical lawsuits, the director quietly exited the film, and those who were chosen to replace him – John Singleton and later Carl Franklin – quickly followed suit out the revolving door.
However, Morgan Creek’s drama has been handed a lifeline today. According to The Hollywood Reporter, music video and commercial director Benny Boom has opened negotiations to helm the troubled project, and Boom took to Instagram to express his own excitement about “upholding the legacy” of Tupac via a feature film.
Throughout his career, Boom has carved out a reputation for directing and producing high-quality music videos for artists such as Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Keyshia Cole, Nas, Nelly. Beyond that, the filmmaker has also helmed Next Day Air and the direct-to-DVD crime caper S.W.A.T.: Firefight. Now, however, he’ll be telling a very different story from behind the camera.
First port of call for both Morgan Creek and Benny Boom will be to find a compelling actor to play Tupac Shakur and, in the director’s own words, to tell “the story of this revolutionary, artist, visionary, genius and solider.”