Whether you’re talking about Notorious, Straight Outta Compton, or the quasi-autobiographical 8 Mile, hip-hop has certainly produced some silver screen-worthy stories. That said, perhaps the most compelling one has yet to be told.
A Tupac Shakur biopic is currently in the works, and the first trailer for the film recently hit the interwebs. Entitled All Eyez on Me, the movie will look to chronicle the life and times of one of the hip-hop game’s most influential and controversial figures.
Just like Notorious, which cast the then unknown Jamal Woolard as slain rapper Biggie Smalls, this film has tasked a relative neophyte with its title role. Demetrius Shipp Jr. — whose only other acting gig was in the little-known TV movie #unlock’d — will be stepping into the shoes of Shakur, but only time will tell whether they’re a fit. If nothing else, he certainly does look the part. So much so that it’s actually sort of unsettling.
As the lives of Tupac and Biggie were tragically intertwined, the film will draw constant comparisons to Notorious. But while that film had an inexperienced lead actor, it had a big-time director in George Tillman Jr. and a solid supporting cast that included Angela Bassett and Derek Luke (Antwone Fisher).This film has a less prestigious roster surrounding its star but — if done well — could certainly put a few names on the map.
You can watch the minute-long trailer above. It features the voice of Danai Gurira (who plays Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur) in the background, and touches on the race and class politics that made Shakur a cultural lightning rod during his life. “This ain’t just about you,” she says. “Like all black men, you have a bull’s-eye on your back.”
All Eyez on Me hits theaters November 11.