New Tupac Biopic 'On Hold,' Says Director John Singleton - Rolling Stone
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New Tupac Biopic ‘On Hold,’ Says Director John Singleton

“I got a script and I got the blessings from his family,” says filmmaker. “We’ve got to get it right”

John SingletonJohn Singleton

John Singleton attends Diversity Speaks at LAFF hosted by Blackhouse: A Singleton Perspective in Los Angeles, California on June 14th, 2014.

Araya Diaz/WireImage/Getty

John Singleton

Filmmaker John Singleton has put his long-in-the-works Tupac Shakur biopic “on hold,” at least on his end. “I’m putting my involvement on hold right now because we’re trying to figure out some things,” he recently told XXL. “I got a script and I got the blessings from his family. We’ll see…. We’ve got to get it right.” The movie was originally supposed to go into production in June.

The director, whose credits include Boyz N the Hood and the Shakur-starring Poetic Justice, did not expound on the logistics stymying his involvement in the movie, but he did say he found making the movie intimidating. “You just want to get it right,” Singleton said, adding that he has casting choices in mind but would not disclose them. “I think the picture is not going to be good unless it’s offensive to some people…. When I’m making my movies, John Singleton movies, it’s really just my voice. So I can’t be listening to all the other suggestions of all these other people and shit.

“So we’re not going to pull the trigger on that until it’s right,” he continued. “If somebody else wants to do something different then they can do something different. But if it’s going to be right, it’s going to be right. It’s going to be something that potentially adorns ‘Pac’s legacy.”

Singleton also praised the work of another rapper with a recent connection to Tupac, Kendrick Lamar, who covered him at the iHeartRadio Awards and conversed with him (though an archival interview) on the To Pimp a Butterfly track “Mortal Man.” “Kendrick Lamar is phenomenal,” the director said. “I wouldn’t even call Kendrick a rapper, I would call him a performance artist because he’s somebody that’s channeled his own journey into his art and he’s affected so many people. He’s a great example of somebody who’s pouring his soul out to the world.”

But at the same time, he wouldn’t compare him to the rapper he’s planning on memorializing on film. “There will never be another Tupac,” Singleton said. “No matter how great anybody else is. Kendrick Lamar is his own special entity. Kendrick Lamar is making his own history. The thing about him is also, he’s laying it down for, I feel, a whole rise of the West Coast. With all the Top Dawg artists; ScHoolboy Q, what’s happening with YG, DJ Mustard and everybody…. I think that these young brothers are giving a whole new perspective from a new generation.”

Even if Singleton’s Tupac biopic is delayed further, there are still many ‘Pac-related things in the works. The rapper’s estate recently teamed with a company responsible for minding the legacies of Janis Joplin and Michael Jackson, among others, and will be putting out previously unreleased Tupac songs and keeping his memory alive with events like the recent Tupac Grammy Museum exhibition.

In This Article: John Singleton, Tupac Shakur


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