Filming for the long awaited biopic on Tupac Shakur has not even begun and already there is a lawsuit that’s been filed because of the film.
Morgan Creek Productions has been sued for $10 million by Emmett Furla Oasis Films for breach of contract. EFO Films claims that Morgan Creek broke their contract by choosing a lead actor and creating a budget and production schedule for the film without their consent.
Morgan Creek had previously begun pre-production on the film and brought EFO Films into the fold in Sept. 2013 to share producing duties. Per the terms of their agreement, the film was to have a budget of $30 million and the two companies were to both have approval of the film’s production schedule, as well as distribution and its sales agreement. EFO was also granted the right to approve both the lead actor and director of the film.
“Plaintiffs’ (EFO Films) involvement with the project caused the resurrection of the picture,” the complaint states. “Specifically, because of Plaintiffs, the picture was effectively reintroduced into the marketplace after a long period of inactivity, and Plaintiffs immediately advanced the development and production of the picture.”
EFO also contends that after the massive success of the N.W.A. biopic, Straight Outta Compton, which featured a brief cameo of Tupac’s character, Morgan Creek changed the budget to $34 million and insisted that EFO pay half.
According to Morgan Creek, EFO’s refusal to pay for their half of the new budget means they’re the ones who breached the contract.
“Their responsibility was to come in with half the budget,” Morgan Creek exec Greg Mielcarz says. “That didn’t happen. End of story.”
Futhermore, EFO also not only alleges that Morgan Creek picked an actor for the title role “without disclosing his identity”, but also that Morgan Creek had distribution meetings without EFO’s input or knowledge.
Morgan Creek asserts that the role of Tupac has yet to be cast.
Despite the pending lawsuit, production for the film is still set to begin in December.