In 2014, Tupac Shakur will live once again. According to The Hollywood Reporter financiers and producers Morgan Creek Productions and Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films held a reception late last week where producer Randall Emmett confirmed that shooting for the long awaited biopic will start in the spring of 2014.
Since 2011 fans have been teased prospects of the film, but due to legal battles the project was put on hold. THR added that Morgan Creek sued Afeni Shakur, the rapper’s mother, in claims that she continued to negotiate for creative control after signing over the rights to Pac’s music and story. She countersued claiming otherwise and the quarrel was finally settled out of court, she is now an executive producer for the film. Although a time frame has been set, there is still no word on who will play the late musician.
Tupac died at the age of 25 and his height is debated to be between 5’9” to 5’11” so obviously the actor chosen has to look young and be around that stature. But most importantly let’s not forget that 17 years after his death Tupac’s image is still iconic – just ask Miley Cyrus – so it’s crucial that the person chosen should have similar physical characteristics to Pac’s: the pouty lip, sad puppy eyes and of course the sculpted body; not to mention the natural confidence and amiability that he was also known for.
Let’s take a look at six actors I think should be in the running.
6. Columbus Short
This 31-year-old is 5′ 10″ and is known for films like “Accepted,” “You Got Served” and “Stomp The Yard.”
Pros: In previous films he has shown that he has natural swagger and sex-appeal, which like 2Pac made men want to be like him and girls want to be with him. Not to mention that he is also a dancer – Tupac studied ballet and was a backup dancer for Digital Underground – and a singer so it would be easier for him to portray the rapper’s artistic abilities. He is also the perfect height.
Cons: His face is a little too wide and square, and his body too bulky.
5. Lance Gross
This 32-year-old is 6’0” and is best known for his roles in “Our Family Wedding” and Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne.”
Pros: This absolutely gorgeous man has Tupac’s smile and puppy eyes. The only thing he needs is to make his eyebrows more pronounced and get a baldy.
Cons: He is sexy but in a more modelesque and clean-cut way, which seems soft and cute when compared to Tupac’s mixture of handsome and rugged. Also is he two inches taller than the rapper’s average height.
4. Brandon T. Jackson
This 29-year-old is 5’7” and is best known for his roles in “Roll Bounce,” “Tropic Thunder,” and “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.”
Pros: He definitely has the look to pull off a great Tupac.
Cons: His comedic background and semi-high pitched voice might affect the seriousness of his performance. He is also three inches shorter that Pac’s average height.
3. Elijah Kelley
This 27-year is 5’7” and has played roles in “Hairspray” and most recently in “The Butler.”
Pros: He has the droopy eyes and thick eye as well as the long, skinny but well sculpted face and body. He is a singer and a dancer, and as Seaweed in Hairspray he showed that he can be the most popular in the pack, much like Tupac back in high school. If he could roughen up his look he could pull off the role well.
Cons: at 5’7” he stands about three inches shorter than Tupac’s average calculated height.
2. Chris O’Neal
This 19-year-old is 5’8” and his first major television role was in the Nickelodeon series “How to Rock.”
Pros: He is at a great age to play the rapper not to mention that he has the pouty lip and perfect eyes for the role.
Con: He has the look, but none of the attitude. Although he dabbles in rap (and actually sounds pretty good) being part a teen show where he has to be cheerful, positive and of course well mannered – basically the opposite of a Thug – would affect his credibility playing in Tupac. Then again, Drake started in a similar place and is now one of the most respected rappers of the moment.
1. Antwon Tanner
This 38-year-old is 5’6” and is known mostly for his role on the CW drama series “One Tree Hill.”
Pros: Out of all the actors on the list, Tanner is the one with the closest resemblance to the rapper. He is also handsome and has a bad-ass side. Back in 2009 he was arrested for a fake Social Security card scheme, according to TV Guide. Bonus, he also has two huge tattoos running down the sides of his arms.
Cons: In comparison to all the other actors he is very short, standing 4” shorter than Pac’s average height. He is also considerably older than the rest, although the only thing that ages him is one line going across his forehead, which is something that a little makeup could fix.
Share your thoughts on my picks and let us know who else you think would play a great Tupac.