Following on close from the anniversary of rapper Tupac Shakur's death on September 13th 1996, Deadline have confirmed that Emmet/Furla/Oasis Films and Morgan Creek Productions have agreed a deal to co-finance and co-produce a film based on his life.
A project long in the works, a budget of $45 million and a February 2014 start date have now been tentatively agreed on. Afeni Shakur, the artist's mother and founder of both Amaru Entertainment – the label that holds the rights to all his released and unreleased material – and the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center, a performing arts centre and charity, will also be a producer on the film. With finance, the rights to his music and the blessing of his mother in place, the cast and a director should be decided on soon. A draft screenplay, by Ed Gonzalez and Jeremy Haft, is expected to be ready in a few weeks.
Tupac's legacy – fueled by his open, confrontational personality and a strong work ethic – is near mythic and the bulk of his estimated 75 million album sales have come from posthumous releases. Numerous feature-length documentaries have also made about him, the most notable being Nick Broomfield's investigative 'Biggie & Tupac' and the Oscar-nominated 'Tupac: Resurrection', but this will be first and probably only official biopic.