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After years of ups and downs, hope and false starts, the Tupac Shakur biopic, All Eyez On Me is finally in production. The movie has a star and a director, and now they have cast a very important figure in Tupac’s life.
A report from Deadline says that the production has signed a deal with Danai Gurira (Michonne of The Walking Dead fame) to play Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur. The elder Shakur is an executive producer for All Eyez On Me and also holds the rights to her son’s estate. Shakur has had an intriguing life. She is a political activist and a member of the Black Panthers. Because of her history with politics, she raised Tupac to live a politically aware life, which greatly led to his rise as a star of ‘90s hip hop. A year after her son’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.
Danai Gurira has been one of the best things about AMC’s The Walking Dead since she took on the role of Michonne in the post-apocalyptic show’s third season. The katana-wielding character has become one of the most beloved characters on the show. From the beginning we saw how resourceful and tough she was going to be, seeing as how she came on the scene with two pet walkers on chains that she’d stopped from attacking by removing their lower jaws and arms. She used them as cover against other walkers and as pack mules for her equipment.
In a show filled with badass characters, Michonne is one of the most badass there is. In this (relatively) new world Michonne is naturally suspicious and willing to kill any person who threatens her or the group of survivors she’s become a part of. Danai Gurira’s strong and vulnerable performance has played a huge role in the character becoming a fan favorite.
Of course, while it’s always a pleasure to watch Danai Gurira kicking ultimate ass on The Walking Dead, she’s got a history of playing a variety of characters on screen and on the stage. Her leading role in Mother of George, as a newly married woman desperate to conceive a child, and supporting role in The Visitor, as half of an illegal immigrant couple, both saw her nominated for and win various awards.
Well, this is certainly good news for All Eyez On Me. In Afeni Shakur, Danai Gurira will have another hard-hitting character filled with heart to sink her teeth into. And, considering her record on screen, she will not disappoint.