12 May 2011
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
The recent announcement was made by NStar Co-Founders MEE President Ivan Juzang and veteran film producer Preston Holmes (“Juice,” “Tupac: Resurrection”).
The feature-length screenplay, written by Shakur during his 1995 incarceration in upstate New York, tells the story of a teenage drug lord and his efforts to leave a life of crime. It is the only script written by Shakur, who starred in several successful films before his death in 1996.
“Tupac spoke to the pain and the glory of an entire generation of youth as demonstrated by his international, multicultural following,” said CEO Juzang.
Holmes first became interested in producing “Live 2 Tell” more than 15 years ago, when he was president of PolyGram Pictures-based Def Pictures. At the time, Tupac was serving 11 months in the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y.
“I could tell by Tupac’s music that he was a storyteller,” said Holmes. “So I corresponded with him in prison and expressed an interest in working with him to develop film projects with and for him. He wrote back to say he had authored a screenplay he wanted me to look at.”
After Shakur was released, Holmes went on to work with him on the Def Pictures-produced dark comedy “Gridlock’d,” co-starring Tim Roth and Thandie Newton.
“I’ve always wanted to get back to ‘Live 2 Tell,’” said Holmes.
“I like the fact that, although it’s not autobiographical, it’s a piece written during a period when Tupac had a chance to reflect on his life up to that point. The script’s central character, Scott, is also a man who wants to turn his life around after taking stock of his past.”
After Shakur’s death, Holmes collaborated with Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, to produce the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Tupac: Resurrection” and Holmes renewed his interest in producing “Live 2 Tell.”
Afeni Shakur, who will serve as executive producer on “Live 2 Tell” said, “This script represents a facet of his talent that, until now, the public has not had an opportunity to experience.”