Hail Mary, Steve McQueen Is Making A Tupac Documentary

The Englishman will be getting some California Love.

Last we heard from Steve McQueen, he was helming Widows – the Gillian Flynn-penned heist picture where a crew of pros are killed off, only to have their wives step into their shoes and finish the job. Filming on that movie is supposed to commence this month, and now we’ve got another McQueen project to look forward to – his first foray into documentary filmmaking. The subject? Tupac Shakur, whose estate will fully support the project.

From the release:

“Shakur Estate trustee Tom Whalley and Amaru Entertainment, the company created by Afeni Shakur to release her son’s posthumous projects, announced today that Nigel Sinclair’s White Horse Pictures and Jayson Jackson will team up to produce a fully authorized documentary with Amaru on the life of acclaimed hip-hop artist, writer and poet Tupac Shakur.

The film will be directed by Academy Award-winning director, Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) and produced by Jayson Jackson (What Happened, Miss Simone?) and White Horse Pictures’ Nigel Sinclair (The Beatles – Eight Days a Week, The Touring Years) and Nicholas Ferrall, together with Shakur Estate Trustee Tom Whalley. Gloria Cox, Tupac Shakur’s aunt and Afeni Shakur’s only sister, will executive produce along with White Horse’s Jeanne Elfant Festa.”

The very fact that McQueen is making a documentary at all is something to get excited about. That it’s about arguably the greatest rapper of all time (whose life was tragically cut short via a still unsolved Las Vegas shooting in September 1996) only sweetens the deal. The currently untitled film isn’t the only motion picture focusing on Tupac, as Benny Boom’s All Eyez on Me hits theaters next month.

This renewed interest fits with the recent trend of examinations zeroed in on numerous retellings of racial turmoil during the early '90s, as Tupac was one of the leading figures in the concurrent emergence of gangsta rap, which provided the soundtrack to Rodney King, the LA Riots and OJ Simpson. For those who grew up watching these events unfold in real time, there’s certainly a sense of déjà vu, as the recent past is now fertile ground for examinations that parallel many of our current national crises.

No word on a targeted release date yet, but we’ll keep you up to date when that info hits.