Stephen J. Rivele and Chris Wilkinson, the Oscar nominated screenwriters of films like Ali and Nixon, have now agreed to pen Training Day director Antoine Fuqua’s upcoming biopic about the late Tupac Shakur. Although the film’s lead role has yet to be cast, Rivele and Wilkinson revealed that the film will focus primarily on the slain rapper’s final day.

“I knew nothing about [Tupac before]…[but after researching him] it became clear that he was essentially a 19th century Romantic poet who found himself in the 21st century,” said Rivele. “This is the story of an artist whose character is at odds with his medium. He was a really sensitive, very romantic, talented young poet who also could sing, dance, and act. But the realities [of the record industry] were that he had to create this persona of the gangster.” (

Although the identity of Tupac’s killer has been highly contested in Hip Hop circles, Rivele and Wilkinson say they hope to focus more on the senselessness of the killing itself. Rivele says that he feels Tupac was at the cusp of a transformative period in his life and that his associations with certain people may have led to his downfall.

“He was obviously very angry, and had been subjected to a great deal of violence at home, in the streets and in prison,” said Rivele. “But he was just beginning to shed that anger and look for a purer voice…He was in the process of changing himself, and entering a new phase of his life — essentially a Romantic vision — and had set up a new label, and a new production company to create it. He saw the contradiction between the musical persona of ‘Thug Life,’ and his essential nature as a gentle, sensitive person. And that was partly responsible for his murder: he was not a gangster, but the people around him were. They saw he was going to leave, that they were going to lose him, and so I think they decided to kill him.” (

The film is expected to begin filming this November.