12 Years a Slave and Shame director Steve McQueen has signed on to direct a feature-length documentary about the life of the late hop-hop icon Tupac Shakur. The Academy Award-winning director has closed a deal with Shakur Estate trustee Tom Whalley and Amaru Entertainment, the company created by Shakur’s recently deceased mother Afeni Shakur to chronicle the life of the recording artist, writer, and poet, who was recently the first solo hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“I am extremely moved and excited to be exploring the life and times of this legendary artist. 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. ” McQueen said in a statement. “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.”
Jayson Jackson (What Happened, Miss Simone) will produce alongside Whalley and White Horse Pictures’ Nigel Sinclair (The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years) and Nicholas Ferrall (All Things Must Pass). Gloria Cox, Tupac Shakur’s aunt and Afeni Shakur’s only sister, will executive produce along with White Horse’s Jeanne Elfant Festa.
“I am happy to see this project come to life. 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,” Said Cox in a statement” I feel like we have a team she (Afeni) would be very pleased with. It has never been our intention to rewrite the story of Tupac. Our goal has always been to tell the true story, which has never been done before in such a complete way. My sister always said to me, ‘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.”
Though Shakur’s professional career lasted only five years, he’s one of the most influential and enduring hip-hop artists of all time, selling over 75 Million records worldwide. He was shot to death in 1996. All Eyez on Me, the biopic based on the life of Shakur directed by Benny Boom and produced by Afeni Shakur, arrives in theaters next month.