The Morgan Creek Productions and Emmett Furla Films production, which will be executive produced by Shakur’s mother, Afeni, starts filming in Atlanta next year. The only thing missing is an actor to portray the slain Thug Life MC on the big screen.
Obviously, it’s going to take a special kind of thespian to play ’Pac. The ultimate contradiction, the MC was convincingly poetic, militant, compassionate and vitriolic all at once, but most of all, he was a lyrical visionary who spit venomous street pathos with calculated metaphors that have stood the test of time. Now how do you find someone who can embody all of that?
The casting will be a tall order indeed, but here’s a look at a few actors who deserve a chance at the role of a lifetime.
Michael B. Jordan put himself in the conversation for the Best Actor Academy Award for his compelling portrayal of Oscar Grant in 2013’s “Fruitvale Station.” He’s not a dead ringer for the “All Eyez On Me” rapper, but if anyone could pull off ’Pac’s intensity, he could.
Anthony Mackie is probably chomping at the bit for a do-over of his placid depiction of ’Pac in the 2009 film about Biggie Smalls’ life, “Notorious”, but it’s unlikely that the “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” actor will get a chance to do a lil remix.
Haitian actor Jamie Hector shook audiences to the core with his chilling interpretation of Marlo “Black” Stanfield, the murderous drug lord on the now defunct critically acclaimed HBO series, “The Wire,” and could easily do the same for the rapper once known for his own seminal role as “Bishop” in the cult classic film, “Juice.”
Little known British-Nigerian actor John Boyega, who lit up the silver screen as head alien slayer Moses in 2011’s “Attack the Block,” has the acting chops to get the job done, but there’s probably little chance that he’ll get a serious look when the time comes.
Chadwick Boseman knocked it out of the park as civil-rights hero Jackie Robinson in this year’s “42,” so there’s no reason why he couldn’t dive headfirst into another biopic based on the former Death Row artist’s life.
Edi Mue Gathegi was the first guy to get killed in 2011’s superhero reboot, “X-Men: First Class,” but the seasoned TV actor could avoid that cinematic fate in the future if he succeeds in channeling J.Cole’s idol.
And rounding out the list is Soulja Boy. The “Pretty Boy Swag” rapper was supposed to reprise Tupac’s star turn as “Bishop” in the “Juice” remake on BET, and since that project seems to be in perpetual limbo, there’s no harm in letting him audition for the role …. is there?
“Training Day” director Antoine Fuqua, who was originally slated to direct the film, tried to cast the role of the embattled lyricist back in 2011 with an online casting call, but since he’s no longer the assigned auteur, it’s likely that a new director will have to be in place before a decision is made.