Given the success of this summer's "Straight Outta Compton," now seems to be the perfect time to tackle the tough-to-crack biopic of Tupac Shakur. On-screen adaptations of the iconic rapper, to this point, have failed to galvanize his significant fan base. The hope is that this new version will finally do justice to one of the most influential individuals in rap history.
TMZ reports the upcoming Tupac movie titled "All Eyez On Me" (named after his 1996 album) has cast newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr. as its Tupac. Shipp himself took to Twitter to celebrate.
Often, casting choices in biopics are criticized for not resembling their real life counterpart, but Shipp is a dead ringer for the West Coast artist. That buys "All Eyez On Me" a bit of good will to start with.
But it must be noted that Shipp is a newcomer in every sense of the word. He has just one IMDB credit (an unreleased TV movie titled "#unlock'd") to his name and is now being tasked with portraying a legend. Not an easy ask to say the least, though "Straight Outta Compton" did pull off a similar feat. As his fans can attest, Tupac was an incredibly complex individual and there should be many facets to his character in an on-screen adaptation.
"Straight Outta Compton" actually did show Tupac briefly, though he was played by a different actor and his appearance was merely a small cameo. Anthony Mackie portrayed the icon in 2009's "Notorious," which centered on rival Biggie Smalls.
A release date for "All Eyez On Me" has not been announced but casting the lead is the first domino to fall. We'll keep you updated as more details emerge.