Antoine Fuqua Departs Tupac Biopic to Direct Eminem in 'Southpaw'
Just over a year ago we heard director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Shooter, Brooklyn's Finest) was set to helm a biopic about the late rapper Tupac Shakur. That project was supposed to begin production last September, but for some reason still hasn't gotten off the ground. Now 24 Frames reports that although Fuqua was still slated to direct the film as of last month, apparently he has since stepped away from the project and has moved onto another one with a living hip-hop artist. Apparently the director is now circling Southpaw, a new boxing drama which already has Marshall Mathers, or rather Eminem, attached to star.
For those just joining us at this point, the project will have Eminem playing a fast-rising welterweight boxer who brawls his way to the title, only to see his world crash down around him due to tragedy; he must fight to win back his life for his young daughter. Previously, writer Kurt Stutter (the creator/executive producer of "Sons of Anarchy") said: "In a way, this is a continuation of the 8 Mile story, but rather than a literal biography, we are doing a metaphorical narrative of the second chapter of his life." And knowing that the personal nature of the story in that 2002 hip-hop based film helped bring out a great performance from Eminem, I'm anxious to see what the rapper can do in yet another personal but dramatic lead role like this.
It's not clear what caused Fuqua to leave the Tupac biopic, but this probably doesn't bode well for the production. After all, the project was being developed with Shakur's mother Afeni, and the director was said to be an essential creative element that helped convince her to allow the film at all. However, no deal is in place for Southpaw yet, so there's a chance that Fuqua could still end up taking the reins of that Tupac biopic. In addition, Fuqua has also been linked to projects like Afterburn with Gerard Butler and another biopic on legendary Tang Dynasty imperial concubine Yang Guifei so anything could happen. Thoughts?