It’s been 20 years since the death of Tupac Shakur, and it looks like the year 2017 will be one for people to commemorate the legacy left behind by the rapper, producer and poet. Not only is he being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame along Journey and Pearl Jam, a biopic about the life and death of the rapper now has a release date.
Lionsgate acquired the U.S rights to the biopic titled All Eyez on Me, and will release it on the later rapper’s birthday on June 16, which would have been Tupac’s 46th.
The film follows the musician’s rise to stardom, as well as his imprisonment and his time at Death Row Records. By the time he passed away, Tupac had sold more than 75 million records worldwide, with his album “All Eyez on Me” making up about 10 million of those sales. Tupac died on September 13, 1996, six days after he was shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas.
The film, directed by Benny Boom, stars Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Tupac, Danai Gurira, Kat Graham, Jamal Woolard, Dominic L. Santana, Lauren Cohan and Grace Gibson. The project began in 2011 when Morgan Creek teamed up with Emmett/Furla/Oasis to make the film, and Antoine Fuqua was set to direct. After a few replacements for the directorial job, Boom was eventually signed because of his experience as a filmmaker and his work with hip-hop stars.
Dominic Santana, who plays Suge Knight, co-founder of Death Row Records, said the film is on schedule and ready to be released this summer in spite of the controversy surrounding it.
“We’re all anxious for it to come out but people gotta remember it’s a major film and there’s a lot of process to releasing major films,” he wrote on the Instagram announcement. “Because it was Tupac a lot of buzz was created word of mouth even while we were filming which usually doesn’t happen until a movie is about to come out. This was no regular movie so you’ve been hearing about it since we started.”
This isn’t the first time Tupac’s life has been adapted onto the screen. After his tragic death in 1996 at age 25, Tupac was the subject of numerous documentaries about his life and he was recently portrayed by Marcc Rose in 2015’s Straight Outta Compton.