John Singleton, perhaps best known for his 1991 coming-of-age drama Boyz In The Hood, is vacating the director’s chair for that Tupac Shakur biopic that’s been in the works for almost five years now.
Singleton, who worked with Shakur on his 1993 film Poetic Justice, has been attached to the project since 2014. But while Shakur’s family has been very supportive of the director, The Wrap reports that “major creative differences” are causing a rift between Singleton and the studio, Morgan Creek. Says the uncredited source, “Morgan Creek can make a sub-par Tupac movie and move on. If John Singelton makes a bad Tupac movie? Its something he’d have to live with for the rest of his life.”
In an interview Tuesday with XXL Magazine, Singleton said of the project, “we’re putting it on hold for right now. I’m putting my involvement on hold right now because we’re trying to figure out something things…we’ve got to get it right.” Even without the pressures of tackling the life story of a personal friend, directing a Tupac biopic is an intimidating task; 19 years after his death, his influence still looms large, even if that influence has morphed into Broadway musicals and barrel-scraping posthumous albums over the years.
Carl Franklin, the director of Devil In A Blue Dress and High Crimes who has spent much of the past decade working in TV—he’s directed episodes of The Pacific, House Of Cards and Homeland—will be the latest director to take on this challenge. (Training Day’s Antoine Fuqua was also attached to direct at one point.) The hologram that performed at Coachella in 2012 is in talks to play Tupac.