The production company Morgan Creek has sued Amaru Entertainment, alleging that the company ran by Afeni Shakur has reneged on an agreement to sell 2Pac's life rights for an upcoming film adaptation.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amaru and Morgan Creek started negotiations in November of 2008 for a currently untitled Tupac Shakur biopic. The complaint states a written contract was in place for the late Shakur's life rights, but representatives from Morgan Creek were unhappy with Amaru Entertainment's "refusal to honor and perform a contract of a production of the film based on the life of Tupac Shakur." Morgan Creek is reportedly seeking financial damages and other relief.
Amaru Entertainment lawyer, Skip Miller, says no written contract was in place, and he indicates that Amaru will take defensive measures.
"They have scared away Paramount, Fox and others, and we are going to sue them and recover millions (in damages)," Miller told The Reporter.
While life rights and permission from Afeni Shakur aren't necessarily needed to make the film, since 2Pac was a public figure, some agreement would need to be reached to include any works from 2Pac's musical catalogue.
The Reporter adds that those close to the situation point to "Notorious" [click to read] as a culprit. The biopic based on the late Notorious B.I.G. did not bring in as much as Fox Searchlight hoped to, despite a $21.5 million opening weekend [click to read]. A rift between Morgan Creek and Amaru Entertainment reportedly developed shortly after the release of "Notorious," with either one or both parties disagreeing on changes to the movie to avoid a similar fate at the box office.
Morgan Creek has declined to comment on the situation.