Eight months after director John Singleton parted ways with the Tupac Shakur biopic – and just a month after his replacement Carl Franklin quietly stepped away from the film – producers have recruited another director to helm the long-in-the-works movie. Music video vet Benny Boom will now take over the project that’s working with an incredibly tight deadline: If the film doesn’t go into production by year’s end, 2Pac’s big screen music rights will revert back to the rapper’s mother Afeni Shakur, The Hollywood Reporter writes.
“I am blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime,” Boom wrote on Instagram next to a photo of the rapper. “Telling the story of this revolutionary, artist, visionary, genius, soldier! I will make him proud and uphold the legacy.” The filmmaker has previously directed videos by Nicki Minaj (“Beez in the Trap”), Busta Rhymes (“Touch It”), Lil Wayne, Keyshia Cole, 50 Cent and many more, as well as the 2009 film Next Day Air.
Despite the success of Straight Outta Compton, a film that proved that a hip-hop biopic could thrive at the box office, production on the Shakur film has slowed due to creative differences and ongoing lawsuits. The film was originally scheduled to begin production in June with Singleton as director, but despite a finished script, the biopic was put “on hold.” That was followed soon after by Singleton’s loud exit.
“The reason I am not making this picture is because the people involved aren’t really respectful of the legacy of Tupac Amaru Shakur,” Singleton wrote in April. “They have no true love for ‘Pac so this movie will not be made with love, and that’s why my ass isn’t involved! If Tupac knew what was going on he’d ride on all these fools and take it to the streets…but I won’t do that. I’ll just make my own project.” Singleton then promised to spearhead his own 2Pac film.
Out of Time and House of Cards director Carl Franklin was then tasked with reining the Shakur biopic, but he left the project last month after a pair of producers filed a $10 million breach of contract lawsuit against the production company Morgan Creek.