SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Shakur Estate trustee Tom Whalley and Amaru Entertainment, the company created by Afeni Shakur to release her son's posthumous projects, announced today that Nigel Sinclair's White Horse Pictures and Jayson Jackson will team up to produce a fully authorized documentary with Amaru on the life of acclaimed hip-hop artist, writer and poet Tupac Shakur.
The film will be directed by Academy Award-winning director, Steve McQueen (12 YEARS A SLAVE) and produced by Jayson Jackson (WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?) and White Horse Pictures' Nigel Sinclair (THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – The Touring Years) and Nicholas Ferrall, together with Shakur Estate Trustee Tom Whalley. Gloria Cox, Tupac Shakur's aunt and Afeni Shakur's only sister, will executive produce along with White Horse's Jeanne Elfant Festa.
"I am extremely moved and excited to be exploring the life and times of this legendary artist. I attended NYU film school in 1993 and can remember the unfolding hip-hop world and mine overlapping with Tupac's through a mutual friend in a small way. Few, if any shined brighter than Tupac Shakur. I look forward to working closely with his family to tell the unvarnished story of this talented man."
"Tupac's timeless message resonates today as strongly as it did when I first discovered him in 1990, possibly more so. His legacy is unfortunately seen now through the refraction of the headlines, the controversy, and the tragic way his life ended. With this film, we will show the artist and the young man who existed beyond the news. I have an obligation to both Tupac and Afeni Shakur, to make sure this project becomes realized. In the final year of her life, Afeni and I spoke often of her desire to have her son's true story be told. We are very excited to be working with the talents of Steve McQueen, Jayson Jackson and Nigel Sinclair.
Together, with the team we have assembled, I am honored to have the opportunity to bring the documentary Tupac started in 1996 to life."
"I am happy to see this project come to life. This was something that my nephew (Tupac) was very passionate about creating in 1996, and my sister (Afeni) since before her passing this last May. It has been a long journey to get here.
I feel like we have a team she (Afeni) would be very pleased with. It has never been our intention to rewrite the story of Tupac. Our goal has always been to tell the true story, which has never been done before in such a complete way. My sister always said to me, 'We are not in the business of defending Tupac. Our job is to allow him to be seen in the most complete way, so his actions, his choices, and his words will allow him to speak for himself.' I believe this film will do exactly that."
JAYSON JACKSON AND NIGEL SINCLAIR
"We are proud and grateful to The Estate for inviting us to the team to help produce this film with the incredible Steve McQueen. We hope to make a film that explores all of Tupac's talent and creativity, as well as his singular personality. We've got more than 2 decades of perspective now, and we hope to make a film that people can look back on in another 5 decades and understand his contribution to all of art, music, and culture. Most of all, we hope to bring to our audience, insight into his perspectives, and what it was like to be sitting inside his world and the world he grew up in."
White Horse's Cassidy Hartmann will serve as co-executive producer. Marc Ambrose (THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK – The Touring Years) will serve as supervising producer.
The documentary will be produced with the full cooperation and the assistance of The Shakur Estate, and financed and distributed by Amaru Entertainment.
White Horse Pictures is engaged as the worldwide sales agent on the documentary.
Interscope Records, the label that released the majority of Tupac's catalog, and Universal Music Publishing Group will provide help and full support to the production. Both companies are divisions of Universal Music Group,
Though his recording career lasted just five years, Tupac Shakur is one of the most popular artists in history, having sold over 75 million records worldwide. Over half of his eleven studio albums have sold in excess of three million copies. Two of his releases, 1996's All Eyez On Me and his Greatest Hits collection, have been certified Diamond, with sales of over 10 million copies each. In December 2016, it was announced that Tupac Shakur would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the first solo hip-hop artist to be recognized for inclusion. The ceremony took place in Brooklyn, New York on April 7, 2017 and included a musical tribute from Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys, T.I.. Alongside his musical career, Tupac also found success and critical acclaim as an actor, starring in films Juice, Poetic Justice, Above The Rim, Gridlock'd, and Gang Related.
Tupac's life and legacy continues to impact and influence culture today, from a groundbreaking performance via hologram at the 2012 Coachella Music and Arts Festival to a spoken word appearance on Kendrick Lamar's critically acclaimed 2015 To Pimp A Butterfly. In addition, the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation, established by his late mother Afeni, provides arts education to children through camps, workshops, scholarships, and other programs.
ABOUT TOM WHALLEY:
Tom Whalley began his career in the Warner Bros. Records mailroom before working his way into the label's A&R department. There, he had early success with acts like Modern English and the Cure. He later joined Capitol Records as Head of A&R, where he worked with many of the label's most important acts including Bonnie Raitt, Poison, Crowded House, the Beastie Boys, and MC Hammer. After Capitol, Mr. Whalley was one of the founders of Interscope Records, eventually serving as president of the label. There, he signed artists including Tupac Shakur, Nine Inch Nails, and Wallflowers. In 2001, he returned to Warner Bros. Records as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership, Warner Bos. nurtured the careers of many of the biggest artist of our time including, White Stripes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Josh Groban, Metallica, Michael Bublé, Muse, Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Linkin Park, Enya, and Faith Hill.
In April of 2012 he formed Loma Vista Recordings. The label has since released albums from St. Vincent, Soundgarden, Ghost, Marilyn Manson, Denzel Curry, Sylvan Esso, and Rhye, as well the soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained. In addition to Loma Vista, he is serving as the Creative Director for Concord Music. At Afeni Shakur's request, Tom serves as the Trustee of The Shakur Estate.
ABOUT WHITE HORSE PICTURES:
Nigel Sinclair has produced a number of award-winning films, including the BAFTA Nominated, Critics' Choice and Grammy Award-winning The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years also directed by Ron Howard. Other titles include Martin Scorsese's, George Harrison: Living In The Material World which won two Emmy® Awards and was nominated for a BAFTA, No Direction Home: Bob Dylan for which Sinclair won a Grammy Award®, Amazing Journey: The Story Of The Who, and both the Academy Award®-winning Undefeated and the Grammy Award®-winning Foo Fighters: Back And Forth.
Nicholas Ferrall is a partner at White Horse Pictures and Head of Production. He served as an executive producer for the Grammy-winning The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years and David Gelb's A Faster Horse. Jeanne Elfant Festa and Cassidy Hartmann are partners at White Horse Pictures and producers on the forthcoming authorized Apollo Theater documentary. White Horse Pictures is currently in pre-production on the Fox-financed film Silent Night.
ABOUT JAYSON JACKSON:
Jayson Jackson is a producer of Emmy Award winning film, Tony Award®-winning theater, and Grammy Award Winning music. Jackson most recently produced the Academy Award nominated and Emmy Award winning documentary What Happened, Miss Simone?.
A veteran music executive, and entrepreneur Jackson has a string of success over the course of his esteemed career and has been integral to a multitude of groundbreaking endeavors. At the age of 27, he represented the career of Ms. Lauryn Hill, strategizing her journey from Fugee band member to legendary solo artist. Her eponymous debut, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill broke the Billboard record for "highest first-week sales from a solo female artist," and achieved five GRAMMY® Awards among a staggering ten nominations in 1999 including Album of the Year.
In theater, he guided the career of poet Sarah Jones to her 2004 off-Broadway one-woman show, Bridge & Tunnel, which received an Obie Award and upon moving to Broadway two years later, a Tony Award for "Best Special Theatrical Event."
2014 saw Jackson team with Nina Simone's daughter Lisa Simone Kelly to produce the first NETFLIX original documentary What Happened, Miss Simone? The film would open the Sundance Film Festival in 2015 to rave reviews and eventually receive an Oscar® nod in the category of "Best Documentary Feature" and win an Emmy Award for "Outstanding Documentary or Non-Fiction Special" in 2016.
ABOUT INTERSCOPE GEFFEN A&M:
Combining the legacies of three of the most influential record labels in modern music history, Interscope Geffen A&M embarked on a new tradition of musical achievement with its unification on January 1, 1999. Headed by Chairman and CEO John Janick, Interscope Geffen A&M is a major force in global music, developing chart-topping artists across a wide range of musical genres including rock, rap, pop and alternative. Interscope Geffen A&M is part of Universal Music Group, the world's largest music company. www.interscope.com
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SOURCE Interscope Geffen A&M