After years of false starts, cameras are finally rolling on the Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez on Me. The film found its star in newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr. and will be directed by Benny Boom, and now producers have finally found the perfect actress to play Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur.
Deadline reports that Danai Gurira (Michonne of The Walking Dead) will play Afeni. This will be a great role for Gurira (seen below), who is a fan favorite on The Walking Dead and also the toast of Broadway with her new play Eclipsed. Shakur's life has been at least as interesting as her famous son's. She is a political activist and a member of the Black Panthers who raised 'Pac to live a politically aware life and had immeasurable influence on his music.
The elder Shakur is an executive producer for All Eyez on Me and also holds the rights to her son’s estate. A year after Tupac's death, Shakur used the money made from his posthumous album sales to found the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation, which offers arts programs for young people. She also used the earnings to establish Amaru Entertainment, a holding company for all of his unreleased material.
While Gurira is best-known as the resourceful, a**-kicking Michonne onThe Walking Dead, she has a long resume of interesting roles on the stage and screen. Her leading role in Mother of George, as a newly married woman desperate to conceive a child, and supporting role in The Visitor, playing an illegal immigrant, earned her plenty of awards cred.
Her participation in All Eyez on Me gives us a lot of hope for the project, which has been pretty ill-fated until now. Catch more info on her casting in the BET Breaks video, above:
(Photos from top: WENN, Theo Wargo/Getty Images)