With Antoine Fuqua getting ready to box Eminem, the fate of the Tupac Shakur biopic was left to hang in the air. Now, JoBlo is reporting that Morgan Creek is engaging the director in a Pay or Play deal that will see him cashing a check whether or not he makes the movie. The idea behind the move is so that producers are further pressured to get Fuqua on board, but it’s unclear how that actually works. If Fuqua was the one moving on from the project, it’s a bit confusing as to how offering him money not to make the movie will entice him to make the movie.
The other question is why the production is so interested in Fuqua. The Shakur Estate has already approved him, and finding another director would mean finding further approval, but is he really the only director that could take this project on? This move seems to sound loud and clear that Morgan Creek thinks that’s the case. Even foolishly limiting the field to black directors, there’s John Singleton, Lee Daniels, George Tillman Jr, Denzel Washington (who has biopic experience), the insanely creative choice of Scott Sanders, MK Asante (if he’d be interested in fictional features), and, why not, Thomas Carter. Those are just off the top of my head. There’s also the wild idea of giving a new director his or her shot.
Why possibly ground a production while waiting on a single director to decide he wants to do the film he just passed on?
In related news, the production is now claiming that they’ll be looking for an unknown actor to play the lead role – a young man from California with similar life experiences to tap into. They’ll teach him the acting part along the way.