Steve McQueen has been selected to direct a new documentary about Tupac Shakur.
The 12 Years A Slave director will lead a full-length documentary about the life of the hip-hop star, including his imprisonment and time at Death Row Records, before he was fatally shot at the age of 25 in a drive-by shooting in 1996.
The announcement was made on Tuesday (09May17) by estate trustee Tom Whalley and Amaru Entertainment, the company created by Tupac’s mother Afeni Shakur to release his posthumous projects.
“I am extremely moved and excited to be exploring the life and times of this legendary artist,” said McQueen in a statement. I attended NYU film school in 1993 and can remember the unfolding hip-hop world and mine overlapping with Tupac’s through a mutual friend in a small way. Few, if any shined brighter than Tupac Shakur. I look forward to working closely with his family to tell the unvarnished story of this talented man.”
Nigel Sinclair’s White Horse Pictures and Jayson Jackson will produce the authorized documentary alongside Amaru Entertainment. Gloria Cox, Tupac’s aunt will executive produce along with White Horse’s Jeanne Elfant Festa. The film does not yet have a title, but it will be financed and distributed by Amaru Entertainment.
“I am happy to see this project come to life,” added Gloria. “This was something that my nephew Tupac was very passionate about creating in 1996, and my sister Afeni since before her passing this last May. It has been a long journey to get here.”
As well as backing from Shakur’s estate, the documentary will also have support from Interscope Records and Universal Music Publishing Group.
The news comes as Lionsgate gears up to unveil Tupac biopic All Eyez on Me, with Demetrius Shipp, Jr., portraying the rapper. The film, which also stars Danai Gurira and Kat Graham, is set to be released in cinemas on 16 June (17).
After finding critical success with 2013’s 12 Years A Slave, British director McQueen has also recently been tapped to helm Widows, the upcoming heist thriller with Viola Davis, Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez.