The highly anticipated Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez on Me is set to be released soon, and with the film being a long time in the making, a few changes have been made since its inception — one being a switch in directors.
After famed director John Singleton backed out of the project in 2015, giving the reasoning that "the people involved aren't really respectful of the legacy," the film moved forward with the genius of Benny Boom, who ultimately brought the story to life. Now, for the first time, Boom is speaking out about Singleton's words and he's revealing what bothered him most about what was said.
Speaking with GQ, Boom addressed the Baby Boy director's remarks, revisiting the old adage that if you have nothing positive to say, don't say anything at all.
"I know John, and this is the first time I'm speaking about it publicly," he said. "But I feel like we have brothers who you think are supposed to support, and they don't support. The community we have of directors of color is very small. I'm not saying you're supposed to go out and cheerlead for everybody. But there needs to be support. And support sometimes just means not saying anything. I would never take shots at my brother. I'm not gonna do that because I know how detrimental it is, especially to someone who laid the groundwork and opened up doors."
Continuing to speak on Singleton's remarks, Boom specified that his problem lay in how they were delivered as Tupac was not on good terms with everyone he encountered.
"I just felt disappointed about the rhetoric," he said. "I understand he's disappointed in the process. But Tupac was not happy with every single person he came in contact with by the end of his life, and we know this. The Hughes brothers, John. There's several people out there who he spoke openly about not being friends with. This project is happening the way that Pac wants it to happen, and there's nothing that's gonna stop it."
Boom went on to explain that though his words are critical, his respect for Singleton knows no bounds, and while Black directors are being celebrated, they still have some ways to go.
"I respect John for that," he said. "John was nominated for an Academy Award as director, for screenplay and director. Brother [Barry] Jenkins won Best Picture, but we still don't have the Best Director win."
All Eyez on Me is set to be released on June 16, on what would have been Tupac's 46th birthday.
See where else Tupac's story will be told in the BET Breaks video, above.
(Photos from Left: WENN, Duffy-Marie Arnoult/WireImage)