British filmmaker Steve McQueen has signed on to direct a documentary about the life and career of late hop-hop icon Tupac Shakur. Best known for dramas such as Hunger, Shame and the Academy Award-winning film 12 Years A Slave, the outing will mark McQueen's debut within the fact-based genre.
According to Deadline, the 47-year-old signed a deal with Shakur Estate trustee Tom Whalley and Amaru Entertainment, the company created by Shakur's recently deceased mother Afeni Shakur.
"I am extremely moved and excited to be exploring the life and times of this legendary artist. 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. " McQueen said in a statement. "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."
What Happened, Miss Simone's Jayson Jackson will produce alongside Whalley and White Horse Pictures' Nigel Sinclair (The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years) and Nicholas Ferrall (All Things Must Pass). Gloria Cox, Shakur's aunt, will executive produce.
"I am happy to see this project come to life. This was something that my nephew (Tupac) was very passionate about creating in 1996, and my sister (Afeni) since before her passing this last May. It has been a long journey to get here," Cox added in a similar statement. "I feel like we have a team she would be very pleased with.
"It has never been our intention to rewrite the story of Tupac. Our goal has always been to tell the true story, which has never been done before in such a complete way. My sister always said to me, 'We are not in the business of defending Tupac. Our job is to allow him to be seen in the most complete way, so his actions, his choices, and his words will allow him to speak for himself.' I believe this film will do exactly that."
McQueen's isn't the only film about Shakur in the pipeline either. Next month will see Benny Boom's biopic All Eyez On Me finally reach cinemas. The release date – 16 June – coincides with the artist's birthday back in 1971.