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Director Antoine Fuqua leaves Tupac Shakur biopic for an Eminem boxing flick?

06.07.2011
Somewhat surprisingly, we haven't seen Detroit rapper Eminem (a.k.a. Marshall Mathers) on the big screen for nearly a decade (not since 2002's 8 MILE), though that will soon change. As reported on back in December, the talented lyricist is teaming up with "Sons of Anarchy" creator Kurt Sutter for a boxing drama called SOUTHPAW. Sutter is writing the project, and now according to the LA Times' 24 Frames, TRAINING DAY director Antoine Fuqua may be jumping into Eminem's corner to call the shots.

However, this also means that TUPAC, the Tupac Shakur biopic that was to be Fuqua's next film, is now dead. As reported on in February, that film was set to begin production around this very time, though now with Fuqua's departure, its future is called into question. TUPAC was being developed along with the rapper's mother Afeni Shakur, though her involvement didn't come till after Fuqua joined the project and helped convince her to participate. What'll happen to the biopic now is anyone's guess.

But back to SOUTHPAW, director Fuqua is reportedly in the process of sorting out a deal to helm the project, which is expected to begin production later this year. The film is said to be like a spiritual sequel to 8 MILE. As SOUTHPAW creator and writer Sutter put it back in December, the story would be "a metaphorical narrative of the second chapter of his life. He'll play a world champion boxer who really hits a hard bottom, and has to fight to win back his life for his young daughter. At its core, this is a retelling of his struggles over the last five years of his life, using the boxing analogy."
Extra Tidbit: Eminem actually made his first (uncredited) big screen appearance in 2001's THE WASH.

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