The late hip hop icon Tupac Shakur is now the subject of two feature projects. His mother, Afeni Shakur, has long been involved in Tupac, the John Singleton-directed biopic that Open Road Films acquired U.S. rights to distribute. , the long-awaited and highly anticipated feature on the life of Tupac Shakur directed by John Singleton. Now, Tupac’s cousin, William Lesane, has written The Rise And Fall Of Makavelli The Don, and he is making plans to produce a movie about the events of Shakur’s life. He has raised a commitment of $15 million to shoot in New Mexico, but his reps won’t say if he’s got any rights to use Shakur’s tunes. Lesane said he secure the commitment from Giovanni De Francisci, the portfolio manager of Petschek Trust, along with Monegasque Movie Productions, the latter of which will make its debut on the film. Said Lesane: “The time has come to tell the real Tupac Shakur story, the movie his fans really want to see. Any movie that is produced about Tupac has to tell a truly great story with a bold statement attached. Our movie does that in spades…I lived this story with my cusin and paid tremendously for it.” Ed Arena is casting the film.
Usually in cases of competing music projects, the first one in production wins. The other Shakur project is far along, with a script by Jeremy Haft & Ed Gonzalez and Singleton, and traces Shakur’s life from growing up in East Harlem the son of activist Black Panther Party members, to reaching superstardom as a songwriter, hip-hop and movie star, to his vocal position as a leader in the East Coast/West Coast rap war, to his death. Shakur, leaving a Mike Tyson fight at the MGM Grand In Las Vegas, was murdered in a drive by shooting, dying at age 25 in 1996. The film is being produced and financed by Morgan Creek Productions and Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films.