During his short life, rapper Tupac Shakur was a notorious double threat, producing platinum albums and singles and earning notices for his acting in films such as “Juice” and “Poetic Justice.”
But the thug life MC, who studied acting, poetry, jazz and ballet while performing in Shakespearean plays at the Baltimore School for the Arts as a teenager, not only acted in plays and movies, he also apparently wrote them.
And now the rights to the only full screenplay Shakur wrote while he was in jail, “Live 2 Tell,” have been acquired by a production company that plans to start filming the movie next year, according to Variety.
One of the producers is Preston Holmes, who collaborated with Shakur’s mother, Afeni, on the 2003 documentary “Tupac: Resurrection”; Afeni Shakur will be an executive producer on the $11 million project.
The script is described as the story of a teenage drug dealer and his struggles to leave a life of crime. It was written by Shakur while he served an 11-month sentence on sexual assault charges.
“This kid was a genius, and the net of it is, he was from this community, he knew the struggles these young people were dealing with,” said Ivan Juzang, whose NStar Studios was behind the acquisition of the screenplay. “And he’s able to talk to young people in 2011, 2012, the same way he was able to talk to young people in 1995.” Holmes had originally contacted Shakur about the script when the rapper was still behind bars.
“We think that the name we need is the name we have, which is Tupac Shakur,” Holmes said.
This is the second attempt at making the film. The script was first optioned more than five years ago by the Insomnia Media Group and was slated to start production in March 2006. No casting for that version was ever confirmed.