John Singleton Once Admitted to Being Really Upset With the Tupac Biopic ‘All Eyez On Me’
All Eyez on Me, the biopic about late rapper Tupac Shakur, generated a lot of diverse opinions. Although some celebrities approved of the film, others had the exact opposite reaction. Filmmaker John Singleton fit the latter category, as he felt the film disrespected Tupac’s legacy.
John Singleton was originally working on a Tupac Shakur biopic
Before All Eyez on Me, the late director John Singleton was initially tapped to helm the long-awaited Tupac biopic. It was a project he’d put on hold if only to make sure the film came out the way he envisioned.
“I got a script, and I got the blessings from his family. We’ll see. I’m putting it on hold until it’s right. We’ve got to get it right,” he once told XXL.
For Singleton, it was about getting Tupac’s story to mainstream audiences as authentically as possible. It was something he was certain he could do since he and Tupac were raised in similar environments.
“The thing about it is, not just that I worked with ‘Pac, but we grew up in a similar environment. Where we’re from, you can’t really understand Tupac unless you grew up Black born in America,” he continued. “What he stood for is far beyond the music that he made. It’s what he stood for as a Black man in America. He was one of those people who had so much heart they could never back down.”
John Singleton didn’t like ‘All Eyez On Me’
Singleton never got a chance to make his version of the film. Due to creative differences, the Boyz n the Hood filmmaker left the project.
“The reason I am not making this picture is because the people involved aren’t really respectful of the legacy of Tupac Amaru Shakur,” Singleton once wrote on his Instagram (via Rolling Stone). “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!”
A Tupac biopic was eventually made without Singleton’s involvement. The movie was titled All Eyez on Me and given to filmmaker Benny Boom to helm. Upon its release, Singleton didn’t hold back his opinions on the matter.
“They just made a movie; they didn’t think of it as a cultural event,” Singleton said on Atlanta V-103. “People who are younger, who are younger, who don’t really understand the legacy of Tupac Amaru Shakur, they just go to a movie and they see a rap star. But dude was much more than a rap star. So that’s why I’m really upset.”
‘All Eyez On Me’ director was disappointed in John Singleton’s criticisms
Eventually, the Poetic Justice director’s candid thoughts about All Eyez On Me made their way to director Boom. In an interview with GQ, Boom expressed how let down he was by John Singleton’s responses to his Tupac movie.
“I know John, and this is the first time I’m speaking about it publicly. But I feel like we have brothers who you think are supposed to support, and they don’t support,” Boom said. “The community we have of directors of color is very small. I’m not saying you’re supposed to go out and cheerlead for everybody. But there needs to be support. And support sometimes just means not saying anything. I would never take shots at my brother.”
Boom also felt that his version of Tupac’s story aligned with the late rapper’s views.
“I just felt disappointed about the rhetoric. I understand he’s disappointed in the process. But Tupac was not happy with every single person he came in contact with by the end of his life, and we know this,” Boom added. “The Hughes brothers, John. There’s several people out there who he spoke openly about not being friends with. This project is happening the way that Pac wants it to happen, and there’s nothing that’s gonna stop it.”