When an actor is selected to play the role of a slain music legend, scrutiny and criticism often comes fast and furious.
We’ve seen it happen again and again. Remember the uproar after Zoe Saldana was set to play Nina Simone, or the long road the Marvin Gaye biopic with Jesse L. Martin has taken coming to the big screen? Days after the 17th anniversary of rapper Tupac Shakur’s murder, Deadline has revealed that the long-awaited biopic of the late artist has been picked up, with production starting in February next year.
Since the role of Tupac hasn’t been cast yet, in an effort to save the drama for producers and to ensure a really good portrayal of a legend on the big screen, we’ve listed five actors who should be in consideration for the role of the legendary rapper. Holla if your hear me!
Michael B. Jordan: With a riveting performance as Oscar Grant in Fruitvale Station, Michael B. Jordan is a great contender for the role of the rap legend. In addition to having a California connection both on screen as Oscar Grant and in real life (the actor is from Santa Ana, Calif.), we’re sure that Jordan can draw out quite an emotional reaction from moviegoers.
Anthony Mackie: Although Anthony Mackie might be getting a bit old to play the role (he’s 34, Tupac was 25 when he died), when it comes to looking the part, the Runner Runner star has it down. He’s also got the experience — he played Tupac in the biopic of another rap legend — The Notorious B.I.G. — in 2009’s Notorious.
Chadwick Boseman: Not only did Boseman do a great job portraying baseball legend Jackie Robinson in 42, with a resume that includes roles on hit television series CSI:New York, ER, and All My Children the Oxford graduate certainly has the courage, dignity, and discipline to take on the challenging role.
Mehcad Brooks: Casted as Benedict “Eggs” Talley in HBO’s True Blood, former model Mehcad Brooks would make a great Tupac. With a chiseled frame and a smile identical to the rapper’s, if Brooks were selected to play the role, we’re sure word would get around (get it?).
Elijah Kelley: After a strong performance in Lee Daniels’ The Butler, Elijah Kelly could serve as another good choice for the lead role of Tupac. The 27-year-old star has a strong musical background and received rave reviews for his performance in Hairspray.