Tupac Shakur Biopic: Benny Boom to Helm, after Singleton and Franklin Drop

Morgan Creek, eager to sign a director for the Tupac Shakur movie, is considering music video and commercial director Benny Boom.

The company, which has been working for years to bring the late rapper’s story to the big screen, is under pressure due to the fact that the music rights will revert back to Shakur’s mother, Afeni Shakur, at the end of the year–if the film isn’t in production by then.

Carl Franklin was set to direct after John Singleton dropped out in April.  “The people involved aren’t really respectful of the legacy of Tupac,” Singleton wrote on Instagram, planning to make his own rival project.

Franklin quietly exited the project amid a fresh round of intrigue that surfaced about a month ago. In late October, producers Emmett/Furla filed a $10 million lawsuit against Morgan Creek, saying the company breached a co-production agreement by selecting a lead actor and setting a budget and production schedule without Emmett/Furla’s approval.

Earlier, the studio sued Afeni Shakur for the music rights to the film.

Given the success of the rap biopic, Universal’s Straight Outta Compton ($200 million worldwide), a Tupac film is seen as more commercial.

Tupac’s life story — which includes his rise to multiplatinum-selling artist and his mysterious death — is seen as urgent.

Tupac’s character has appeared in 2009’s Notorious and in Straight Outta Compton— in supporting roles played by Anthony Mackie and Marcc Rose, respectively.

Benny Boom

Boom has previously directed two features, Summit’s 2009 action comedy Next Day Air and the made-for-home-video action movie S.W.A.T.: Firefight, but his reputation derives from the commercial and music scene.

Boom won video director of the year at the BET Awards for his work with NIcki Minaj, Lil Wayne and Meek Mill.