Morgan Creek might have some competition in its long-delayed efforts to bring a Tupac Shakur film to the big screen. Another project is also in the works, this one from Tupac’s former producing partner Gobi Rahimi, who has just launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign for his own long-delayed film about the rapper’s last days.
Rahimi, who directed two of Tupac’s music videos and produced several others for Death Row Records, is trying to raise $500,000 in seed money. He says his film, 7Dayz, will recount the last week of the rapper’s life as he lay dying in a hospital after being mortally wounded in a 1996 Las Vegas drive-by shooting.
“I was waiting for Tupac at Club 662 in Las Vegas after the Mike Tyson fight on September 7, 1996,” Rahimi wrote on the crowdfunding site. “Soon after, I was informed by rapper Nate Dogg that Tupac and Suge Knight had been shot and taken to University Hospital. I immediately rushed there to be by Tupac’s side. This was the first of an emotional seven days that I sat guard over Tupac, who was in an induced coma, riding the line between life and death. 7Dayz is the story of my experience at the hospital amidst death threats, undercover FBI informants and an uncooperative police department.”
Rahimi told Deadline that his film will not be a documentary but a narrative feature that will incorporate his own footage of Tupac during their last recording sessions together. “It’s not a movie about Tupac,” he said. “It’s a movie that will have Tupac in it. It’s about how he changed my life.” Tupac, he said, “will play himself. I have archival footage that I shot of him that’s never been seen before that will be written into the film.” That footage, he said, was shot while the rapper was recording his unreleased album One Nation shortly before his death.
Rahimi doesn’t have the rights to any of the rapper’s songs but said he hopes to gather an all-star lineup to perform “dedication music” for the film. “I’ve been sitting on this footage for 20 years,” he said. “I can’t wait any longer for someone to give me the green light, so I’m just gonna go for it.” The film, he said, will focus on the six nights he sat vigil over Tupac as he lay dying, fearful that someone would burst into the hospital room and finish the job. “It was a tense environment,” he said.
The film, he told Deadline, “is not going to make any accusations or point any fingers” at those responsible for Tupac’s still-unsolved murder, but he notes on the Indiegogo page that “A few weeks before Pac was shot, I wrote the letter that Tupac signed, firing Suge Knight and his lawyer David Kenner. After that, the tension between Tupac and his label soared to new heights.” Knight is in jail awaiting trial for allegedly killing Terry Carter in a hit-and-run incident following a dispute on the set of a promo for the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton earlier this year.
“I was inspired to tell this story,” he wrote on the crowdfunding site, “because I believe that history is written by great people’s contemporaries. I was witness to Tupac’s final days, and I owe it to him and to the world to tell this story. Tupac taught me three fundamental truths. He proved day in and day out what it really means to be true to yourself and your calling. Pac showed me what it’s like to live life without any limits. His loyalty to his family, friends and co-workers taught me the true meaning of that word. Over the last 20 years it was these principles that kept me from selling my footage to the highest bidder and finding an honest way to bring his legacy to life. Tupac’s final week reflects all of the racism and inequality that Baltimore and the likes of Trayvon Martin have been victims to. The powers that be don’t want us to make this film.”
Morgan Creek’s Tupac biopic brought in Carl Franklin last month to direct the film, replacing John Singleton.