Death Row's ex-chief engineer Rick Clifford reveals that the late rapper was eying a role that eventually went to Samuel L. Jackson.
It's revealed in a new interview that Tupac Shakur was eying a role in "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" before he died. Death Row Records' former Chief Engineer Rick Clifford spilled to 2Pac-Forum that the late rapper auditioned for Jedi.
"It's sad because 'Pac found out that I worked for Brian Austin Green, who was on '90210', then he found out I was in some movies. So we always talked about his film career and stuff," Clifford said. "He was telling me that he was supposed to read for George Lucas and them."
"They wanted him to be a Jedi. Yes, I'm serious - Samuel L. [Jackson] got Tupac's part," Clifford went on, before recalling a conversation with the MC, "Yeah, he called me 'Old Man, keep your fingers crossed, I got three movies coming up. One of them I gotta read for George Lucas.' "
It's unclear when Shakur did the audition, but "The Phantom Menace" wasn't released until 1999 but started its filming around June 1997, less than a year after the rapper passed away on September 13, 1996 after he was shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting.
Samuel L. Jackson eventually played Mace Windu, a Jedi Master of the High Council, in the fourth "Star Wars" movie. Shakur once shared screen with Jackson in 1992's crime drama "Juice". His last movie, "Gang Related", was released in 1997.
A Broadway musical inspired by his work has been in the works. Titled after one of his songs, "Holler If Ya Hear Me", it is set to premiere at the Palace Theater on May 26. His songs like "Me Against the World", "California Love", and "Keep Ya Head Up" will be featured in the $8 million-budgeted play along with the title track.
Director Kenny Leon says the stage musical won't be biopic but will explore an anti-violence, "unconditional love story" featuring the MC's music. Producer explains it will tell the story of "friendship, family, revenge, change and hope" as people struggle against challenges in their lives. Shakur's mother is involved in the production.
His family is also supporting an official biopic, "Tupac", which is expected to start production in Atlanta in February. No cast has been announced, but the late rapper was previously portrayed by Anthony Mackie in "Notorious", a movie released in 2009 about another late rap icon Notorious B.I.G..