John Singleton Drops Out of Tupac Biopic, Will Next Direct Romance with Tyrese Gibson and Taraji P. Henson
Posted on Wednesday, November 16th, 2011 by Angie Han
That long-gestating Tupac Shakur biopic is in need of a director once again, as John Singleton has dropped out of talks to helm. Antoine Fuqua was originally lined up to direct, but left the project due to difficulties with casting the lead role — even a nationwide talent search failed to yield any candidates who passed muster — and Singleton entered negotiations last month.
Now, with the Shakur pic off his plate, Singleton’s next project will be an untitled love story that reunites him with Baby Boy stars Tyrese Gibson and Taraji P. Henson. More after the jump.
Though the Boyz n the Hood director’s career hasn’t been so hot lately — his last film was the Taylor Lautner-starring Abduction, which landed with a thud — Singleton seemed uniquely qualified to bring Shakur’s dramatic tale to the big screen. The filmmaker had developed a friendly relationship with the rapper while directing him in the 1993 romantic drama Poetic Justice, and Singleton reportedly wrote the lead in Baby Boy for Shakur. However, Shakur passed away before he could make the movie and the part eventually went to Gibson.
We don’t know at this point why Singleton’s deal failed to come together, though the difficulty of casting the central character probably didn’t help. Shakur has previously been portrayed on screen by Hurt Locker star Anthony Mackie, who played him in George Tillman Jr.’s musical biopic Notorious.
Singleton’s attention is now turned to his mysterious romance, which according to Shadow and Act he has described as “a crazy, dysfunctional love story set in the ‘hood.” Precious few details about the project have come out so far, but we do know he’ll be directing from his own original script, and that despite the presence of Gibson and Henson it will not be a sequel to 2001’s Baby Boy.
The Tupac biopic meanwhile, will begin its director search anew. The script for this unlucky project comes from Steve Bagatourian, Stephen J. Rivele, and Christopher Wilkinson, with a recent rewrite by Broken City scribe Brian Tucker.