Taking on the role of directing and leading a Tupac docuseries is no easy task. Just ask Allen Hughes who’s fallout with Shakur had Tupac fans furious when they heard the news of his involvement in the new project.
Initially the documentary was in the hands of another filmmaker, but that was until the Tupac Estate contacted Hughes and asked for a meeting. This came to a surprise for the 48-year-old director.
Shakur and Hughes had a fallout that involved a firing, a beat down, and a lawsuit. Back in 1993, New Line Cinema, the distribution company founded in 1967, had requested Tupac for the Hughes Brothers film Menace II Society. During filming things turned for the worst as Tupac who was slated to play Shariff did not agree with the characters direction. This result in a dispute between Allen and Shakur, and ultimately Tupac was fired.
Both parties would run into each other during a video shoot and an altercation took place. As a result Tupac was sentenced to 15 days in jail, 30 days probation, $2,000 fine, and 30 days community service.
“Usually if someone asked you to do something like this on an international rock star, it’s a pretty easy answer, right? I remember this was a Wednesday and I said to the estate, give me until Friday…I don’t know if this is for me. I get it as far as the statement of who he was as an icon, but I just don’t know if I have it in me to deal with those demons,” Allen Hughes told Deadline.
The family was high on Hughes, especially after his work on The Defiant Ones which featured a segment on Tupac. “To me, they said, to know Tupac was to fight with Tupac, and you weren’t a friend or family member if you didn’t know that.”
Hughes has fond memories of his times with Shakur, especially when they first met in a music video for Raw Fusion. Allen sees the bigger picture as he takes on the new 5-part series Outlaw: The Saga Of The Shakurs, but for many Tupac fans they weren’t too thrill when hearing the news in 2019.
“Outlaw: The Saga of Afeni and Tupac Shakur, from The Defiant Ones director Allen Hughes. A five-part series looking at the mother and son. Told through the eyes of the people who knew them best. The series explores their message of freedom, equality, persecution and justice,” FX Entertainment said during the TCA summer press tour.
“A lot of them were wishing me all kinds of hurtful, harmful death type (ishh), you know, and it was just (messed) up,” Hughes said to Deadline. “But I said to myself, Allen, you have to show them that this is bigger, deeper and more meaningful than anyone could ever know, and I know my heart’s in the right place.”
For the docuseries which dives into the lives of Tupac and Afeni Shakur, the Estate has granted Allen and his brother Albert full access to Tupac’s released and unreleased material, writings, and poetry. The series is set to premiere in 2022 via FX. (Stay Tuned For Updates: New Tupac Docuseries Outlaw: The Saga Of The Shakurs)