Academy Award-winning director Steve McQueen is set to direct a feature-length documentary on the late seminal hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur.
The project is the result of a deal struck between Shakur Estate trustee Tom Whalley and Amaru Entertainment, the company created by Afeni Shakur to release her son’s posthumous projects.
McQueen, whose 12 Years A Slave won the 2014 Oscar for Best Picture, will work alongside Nigel Sinclair’s White Horse Pictures and Jayson Jackson to produce a fully authorized documentary with Amaru on the life of the influential rapper.
The documentary will be produced with “the full cooperation and the assistance of The Shakur Estate” and will be financed and distributed by Amaru Entertainment. White Horse Pictures, meanwhile, will be the worldwide sales agent on the as-yet titled.
Though his recording career ran only five years, Tupac has sold more than 75 million records worldwide (numbers as of 2007) and is widely regarded as one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time, sitting 86th on Rolling Stone‘s The Greatest 100 Artists of All Time list. In April, he became the first solo hip-hop artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Shakur was fatally shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 7, 1996, after becoming entangled in an East Coast-West Coast rivalry. He died six days later.
Producers on the film include What Happened, Miss Simone? producer Jayson Jackson and Sinclair, whose production credits include the Ron Howard-directed The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years and Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home: Bob Dylan.
Additional producers on the film include Nicholas Ferrall and Shakur Estate Trustee Tom Whalley.
Gloria Cox, Tupac Shakur’s aunt, will serve as executive producer alongside White Horse’s Jeanne Elfant Festa. White Horse’s Cassidy Hartmann will serve as co-executive producer, while Marc Ambrose will serve as supervising producer.
“I am extremely moved and excited to be exploring the life and times of this legendary artist,” said McQueen in a statement. “I attended NYU film school in 1993 and can remember the unfolding hip-hop world and mine overlapping with Tupac’s through a mutual friend in a small way. Few, if any shined brighter than Tupac Shakur. I look forward to working closely with his family to tell the unvarnished story of this talented man.”
“With this film, we will show the artist and the young man who existed beyond the news. I have an obligation to both Tupac and Afeni Shakur, to make sure this project becomes realized,” Whalley added. “In the final year of her life, Afeni and I spoke often of her desire to have her son’s true story be told.”