Once Antoine Fuqua signed on in June 2010, the quest to fill the title spot was on, and the new director wasted no time in laying out his plans to find a new star out of the woodwork
rather than trying to shoehorn an established actor into the role. That idea was finally put into practice in March 2011, when Morgan Creek announced an open casting call through a custom web site, where aspiring actors were encouraged to submit their audition tapes
and their favorite 'Pac song for consideration for the role.
Two months later, reports surface that Soulja Boy had been called in to audition
for the role of Tupac, after discussions arose regarding a remake of Juice
, one of Tupac's earliest film roles, with Soulja looking to fill 'Pac's old role as Bishop. Nothing came of either role, and Hutton moved to play down that story.
"One thing we will not do with this film is dilute it with someone that Hollywood wants to portray," Hutton says. "Our mission is to find the greatest portrayal of Tupac we possibly can find, and that takes a whole lot. I've seen thousands of people. I've seen white Tupacs, I've seen old men Tupacs... We've started the process on looking for Tupac; that hasn't stopped."
Though Hutton says that casting is still ongoing, reps for the film told XXL
that casting has not begun, and there is no set date yet for that to get started. Yet even though the actor who portrays Tupac may be a relative unknown, that doesn't mean the film won't have some surprise guests. "When we talk about the way Tupac walked, the way Tupac's character was—we know how he walks, we know how he talks," Hutton says. "There's not a person that we haven't talked to [about what he was like]. Even Suge—Suge has been instrumental on his piece. It's not a one-sided story; it's really a very diverse story... We're gonna splash you at some parts with superstars, but they won't just be random, they'll fit the role."