The Walking Dead’s Danai Gurira cast as Tupac’s mom Afeni Shakur in rapper’s upcoming biopic. Danai Gurira has been cast as Tupac Skakur’s mother in the upcoming biopic about the rapper, according to Deadline.
The 37-year-old will play Afeni Shakur, who had a major influence on her son and his path to superstardom before his tragic death at just 25. The 69-year-old, who is a political activist and Black Panther, is an executive producer on the film, and controls her late son’s estate.
Danai Gurira has most recently been seen battling her way through the zombie apocalypse on The Walking Dead. The film, entitled All Eyez on Me, will chronicle his move to the West Coast and his stint at Death Row Records, the bitter feud with Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records, right up to his murder in Las Vegas in 1996.
It is named after the artist’s groundbreaking 1996 album which sold more than 10 million copies in the US alone and is widely considered one of the greatest hip/hop records of all time. It will tell the story of the star – born Lesane Parish Crooks in 1971 in East Harlem, NY – and his rise from humble beginnings to one of rap’s biggest selling artists.
The Walking Dead star is just the third name to be unveiled, joining newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr who will play the rapper himself. Meanwhile fellow rapper Jamal ‘Gravy’ Woolard, who featured on 2Pac’s song Untouchable, will play his friend turned rival, Christoper Wallace AKA The Notorious B.I.G. – a role he previously played in the 2009 film, Notorious.
All three – Shakur, Wallace and Woolard – share the common misfortune of being shot, although only Woolard’s wounds were not fatal. Tupac and Biggy’s rivalry was the focal point of the East Coast / West Coast hip hop rivalry, which left both men dead and neither case solved. After a troubled start, production is currently underway on All Eyez On Me in Atlanta, Georgia, although it has yet to get a release date.
As well as her recent impact on the small and soon-to-be big screens, Gurira is also killing it on stage as well: her award-winning play Eclipsed – starring Lupita N’Yongo – is moving to Broadway in March, while her follow up production Familiar opens off-Broadway that same month.