UPDATE: After just a month, Singleton has abandoned the troubled Tupac Shakur biopic, seemingly for the same reasons as his predecessor Antoine Fuqua: the project just can't find its Tupac. Singleton has instead opted for an as-yet-untitled "crazy, dysfunctional love story", reuniting his Baby Boy team of Tyrese Gibson and Taraji P Henson.
Well that didn't last long. Only last month there were reports that John Singleton was talking to Ice Cube about directing the NWA movie Straight Outta Compton. Instead, it seems that Singleton is straight outta that project, and onto the Tupac Shakur biopic recently vacated by Antoine Fuqua.
Fuqua is off to make Hunter Killer, having apparently struggled to cast a suitable Pac (clearly he wasn't keen on the much-mooted Anthony Mackie). Singleton, meanwhile, was kicking his heels waiting for New Line to make a decision about Compton, and was reportedly faced with the prospect of losing the project to the new Footloose's director Craig Brewer. Tupac must have seemed like a tempting alternative, and Singleton at the helm would make a lot of sense, since he actually knew Shakur: he directed him in Poetic Justice in 1993.
Tupac, as if you need telling, was a hip-hop superstar, with albums like Me Against the World, All Eyez on Me and The Don Killuminati all achieving multi-platinum status. He was also building an extremely credible acting career before his untimely death in a drive-by shooting in 1996. The murderer has never been officially identified (although Nick Broomfield's Biggie & Tupac posits some pretty credible theories) and the case remains unsolved.
The screenplay has passed through the hands of Steve Bagatourian (American Gun) and Stephen J Rivele & Christopher Wilkinson (Ali, Nixon), and was most recently re-drafted by Brian Tucker, whose Broken City gets underway shortly with Allen Hughes directing. Early versions were structured around Pac's time on Suge Knight's Death Row Records, with lengthy flashbacks to his earlier life and rise to stardom.
The film was previously pencilled in for shooting in LA, New York, Georgia and Las Vegas, but there's currently no start date. Singleton has yet to officially sign. His Abduction is on release right now.