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Tupac Shakur documentary to be steered by ’12 Years a Slave’ director

/ 09:15 PM May 10, 2017
steve mc queen

British director Steve McQueen with a BAFTA Award for “12 Years a Slave”. Image: AFP/Carl Court

The director of “12 Years a Slave” is on board for a documentary film about iconic West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur.

With biographical drama “All Eyez on Me” already set for release in June 2017, Steven McQueen has been brought in to direct a full-length documentary feature focusing on the rapper.

Lauren Lazin’s 2003 posthumous feature “Tupac: Resurrection” collected an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary and now 2013’s Oscar winning director Steve McQueen is to helm a Tupac documentary of his own.


Produced with the co-operation of the rapper’s estate, mother and aunt, the documentary also has the involvement of Nigel Sinclair, a producer on Formula One racing picture “Rush” as well as a slate of music-themed documentaries.

Those include “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years” by Ron Howard of “A Beautiful Mind” and “The Da Vinci Code”, and Martin Scorsese’s “George Harrison: Living in the Material World”, as well as “Foo Fighters: Back and Forth”, “Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who”, and the Billy Joel ensemble concert feature “The Last Play at Shea”.

Record labels Interscope and Universal Music Group are also backing the movie.

Recalling a connection between himself and Shakur during his time at New York University film school, McQueen said that he “look[s] forward to working closely with his family to tell the unvarnished story of this talented man.”

Tupac’s aunt, Gloria Cox, recalled the words of Tupac’s mother: “‘We are not in the business of defending Tupac. Our job is to allow him to be seen in the most complete way, so his actions, his choices, and his words will allow him to speak for himself.'”

“I believe this film will do exactly that,” she concluded.

Tupac released four highly impactful studio albums between 1991 and 1996 before his death as a result of a drive-by shooting.

A fifth, previously prepared, followed just two months later, with numerous posthumous releases and compilations arriving over the intervening years.


Involved in a well-publicized rivalry between high profile rappers and record labels on the east and west coasts of the United States, Tupac has already been portrayed on screen half a dozen times since his death, though usually in films with other music business personalities.

Anthony Mackie of “The Hurt Locker” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” played him in 2009 Notorious B.I.G. feature “Notorious”. Marcc Rose and Darris Love brought him back for “Straight Outta Compton”, and near-lookalike Demetrius Shipp has the part for “All Eyez On Me”, due June 16. JB


Tupac Shakur: The legacy lives on

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TAGS: Hiphop, rap music, Tupac Shakur
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