*“12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen has signed on to direct a documentary on Tupac Shakur that has received the blessing of the late rapper’s estate.
The announcement was made Tuesday by estate trustee Tom Whalley and Amaru Entertainment, the company created by Pac’s late mother Afeni Shakur to release her son’s posthumous projects. Nigel Sinclair’s White Horse Pictures and Jayson Jackson will produce the fully authorized documentary with Amaru, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“I am extremely moved and excited to be exploring the life and times of this legendary artist,” McQueen said. “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.”
Producers are Jackson, who produced “What Happened, Miss Simone?,” and Sinclair, producer on “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week.” Also producing are Whalley and Nicholas Ferrall. Gloria Cox, Tupac Shakur’s aunt and Afeni Shakur’s only sister, will executive produce along with White Horse’s Jeanne Elfant Festa.
White Horse’s Cassidy Hartmann will serve as co-executive producer. The as-yet-untitled movie will be financed and distributed by Amaru Entertainment.
Meanwhile, Lionsgate has set a June 16 release for the Tupac biopic “All Eyez on Me,” on what would have been the rapper’s 46th birthday. Demetrius Shipp, Jr. stars as the rapper in his first film role. The cast of the Morgan Creek movie, filmed last year in Atlanta, includes Danai Gurira, Kat Graham, Annie Ilonzeh, Dominic L. Santana, Jamal Woolard, Keith Robinson, and Cory Hardrict.
The rapper was shot and killed during a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in September 1996. He was 25 years old.