The film will be released June 16, the late rapper’s birthday. All Eyez on Me, the long-gestating biopic of rapper Tupac Shakur, is finally on its way to theaters. Lionsgate’s Summit Entertainment has acquired the U.S. rights to the Morgan Creek Entertainment film that follows the life of the iconic ’90s rapper, and has set it for release June 16 — the day that would have marked Shakur’s 46th birthday.
The film chronicles his rise to superstardom as a hip-hop artist, actor, poet and activist, as well as his imprisonment and controversial time at Death Row Records. Shakur sold more than 75 million records worldwide, with his fourth studio album, 1996’s All Eyez on Me, selling more than 10 million copies. Shakur, who was killed in Las Vegas at the age of 25, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 7 this year.
Benny Boom directed the film, which stars newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Shakur. Danai Gurira, Kat Graham, Dominic Santana, Jamal Woolard, Keith Robinson, Lauren Cohan and Hill Harper also star. The film is produced by Morgan Creek’s James G. Robinson and David Robinson, along with Program Pictures’ LT Hutton.
All Eyes on Me started out on its long journey back in 2011 when Morgan Creek teamed with Emmett/Furla/Oasis to make the film, and hired Antoine Fuqua to direct. Fuqua eventually left the project, and John Singleton signed on. He also later left, and eventually Boom, who has directed a slew of music videos for hip-hop stars, signed on.
In October 2015, the film faced another hurdle when Emmett/Furla/Oasis filed a lawsuit $10-million lawsuit against Morgan Creek, saying the company breached its agreement by selecting a lead actor and setting a budget and production schedule without Emmett/Furla/Oasis’ approval (the case is ongoing and has been paused pending an appeal of a decision). Open Road was previously signed on to distribute the film.
The new deal with Lionsgate was negotiated for Morgan Creek by David Robinson and Jessica VanderYacht; David Nochimson of Ziffren Brittenham; and Glen Mastroberte of Latham & Watkins. For Lionsgate, the deal was negotiated by Jason Constantine, Eda Kowan, John Biondo and Elizabeth Hopkins.