A new trailer for the long-gestating Tupac Shakur biopic, All Eyez on Me, dropped Tuesday on the 20th anniversary of Shakur's death.
Named after the legendary rapper's fourth studio LP, the film has been in the works for a decade, with a troubled production seeing the departures of high-caliber directors Carl Franklin and Boyz N the Hood's John Singleton. Music video veteran Benny Boom took the helm late last year, and from the look of the trailer, he's crafted a stylish affair full of popping colors and shiny visuals. Tupac is played by saucer-eyed, high-cheekboned newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr., who's not a bad likeness for his subject.
Following in the footsteps of NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton—which swiftly became the highest-grossing music biopic of all time—All Eyez on Me seems like it will pack in a great deal of action and incident. The trailer finds time for shocking instances of police brutality, Shakur's jail stretch and dealings with imposing Death Row Records honcho Suge Knight, nightclubs filled with barely clothed women, and even some music.
Yet the most intriguing element of the trailer is Shakur's relationship with his now-late mother Afeni, played by The Walking Dead star and award-winning playwright Danai Gurira. This dynamic may well be the most effective route the film has to interrogating Shakur's mythical status.
"Like all black leaders, you have a bullseye on your back," Afeni, a political activist and Black Panther, warns her son. "They are going to give you the tools you need to destroy yourself."
This isn't quite the first Tupac biopic—this bizarre Chinese-made affair got there first—but it's the one people will be talking about once it's released in theaters on November 11.
Follow Ashley Clark on Twitter.