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George Tillman Jr.’s The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete has been generating a steady stream of buzz out of Sundance press and industry screenings ahead of its January 25th premiere. The cast sounds terrific – boasting performances by Anthony Mackie, Jeffrey Wright and American Idol alums Jordin Sparks and Jennifer Hudson – and Michael Starrbury’s screenplay has received favorable nods. In fact, Starrbury’s work on Mister and Pete reportedly landed him his next gig.
The screenwriter has been hired by Morgan Creek Productions to polish their Tupac Shakur biopic, which has been in development since 2011, according to Deadline. The original treatment is credited to the trio of Steve Bagatourian, Stephen Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson.
Could Starrbury’s introduction to the material be a step toward securing Tillman Jr. as the director of the Tupac picture? He helmed a compelling Biggie Smalls film in Notorious. Hiring the director to further investigate the east-coast/west-coast rivalry that led to Tupac and Biggie’s deaths would only make sense. And we haven’t heard any news about a possible director for the Shakur film since John Singleton’s name was attached … and if you saw Abduction, you know that you don’t want him directing anything.
We’ll see if Starrbury and Tillman Jr. find a way to work together on the Tupac story. For now, he’ll next be showcased in the action comedy The Great Unknown, which he is adapting for New Line and director Jorma Taccone (MacGruber).