Demetrius Shipp Jr stars as late rapper Tupac Shakur in the upcoming Benny Boom biopic All Eyez On Me.
The Tupac Shakur biopic has reportedly been delayed over a song licensing issue. All Eyez On Me was expected for release in September 2016 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the US rapper’s death but a report now claims it will not hit cinemas until November.
Rapper Daz Dillinger has taken issue with his song Ambitionz Az A Ridah being used throughout the film. The track can be heard in the official trailer, which premiered in June 2016, but Dillinger claims to own the rights to the song and producers allegedly do not have permission to use. Publishing house BMG are said to have control of green lighting use of the track and the project will be put on hold so the company and Dillinger can resolve the issue.
Dillinger, 43, is best known as a member of Snoop Dogg’s Tha Dogg Pound collective and for working with Death Row Records, the record label Tupac was signed to at the time of his death in 1996.
Morgan Creek, the production company helming All Eyez On Me, have never announced an official release date. The team were pushing for a September release date to mark the two decades since Tupac was killed.
The biopic, which also stars Danai Gurira, Kat Graham and Lauren Cohan, chronicles the life and career of Tupac until his passing on 13 September 1996 after being shot in a drive-by shooting.
All Eyez On Me has had a troubled road to production. In-development since 2011, John Singleton was brought on board to direct in 2014, but left the project over difference with the studio over how the story of Shakur’s life would be told. Music video director Benny Boom was ultimately hired to replace Singleton.
Singleton spoke publicly about it, via his Instagram page, saying the following: “Real talk! The reason I am not making this picture is because the people involved aren’t really respectful of the legacy of Tupac Amaru Shakur. I won’t say much if you want you can read my articles in Hollywood Reporter on authenticity in Black Storytelling … To Pac’s real fans just know I am still planning a movie on Tupac … It doesn’t matter what they do mines will be better… Tupac was much more than a hip hop artist … He was a black man guided by his passions … Of most importance was his love of black people and culture … Something the people involved in this movie know nothing about… Real talk! How you gonna make a movie about a man when you suing his mother to get the rights to tell his story?! They have no true love 4 Pac so this movie will not be made with love! And that’s why my ass isn’t involved ! If Tupac knew what was going on he’d ride on all these fools and take it to the streets… But I won’t do that … I’ll just make my own project. What Yall think about that?!!”
Singleton had already selected the actor for the part. His name is Marcc Rose – a newcomer who appeared in the N.W.A. bio, “Straight Outta Compton,” playing Tupac.
John Singleton did boast that he would make his own independently-produced Tupac movie, so it could be that Marcc Rose will be his guy.