Amaru Entertainment has responded to a lawsuit over the rights to the film adaptation of rapper Tupac Shakur.
MorganCreek filed the lawsuit against Amaru Entertainment in Los Angeles Superior Court last week.
The lawsuit claims Amaru Entertainment is in breach of contract for refusing “to honor and perform a contract of a production of the film based on the life of Tupac Shakur.”
“Tupac touched so many people in his brief life and it makes me feel honored in keeping his message alive,” Afeni Shakur told AllHipHop.com in a statement. “And I want to do so with integrity – in the right way with the right people…That’s what Tupac would have wanted.”
Another rep for Amaru was more candid about the lawsuit and claimed it had “no merit.”
“We felt it was important to bring the story of Tupac Shakur, one of music’s most remarkable icons, to life onscreen and, in realizing this vision, we sought to find the best partner who would be true to Tupac’s vision and bring his unique story to life on the big screen,” another rep for Amaru said in a statement. “In doing so, we have taken every step to ensure that our partner in this process is committed to the integrity of Tupac Shakur’s legacy and, more importantly, that they are the right people.”
Amaru Entertainment also claimed that MorganCreek contacted other movie production houses, in an attempt to allegedly sabotage any new negotiations.
Amaru Entertainment is now filing a counter-lawsuit against Morgan Creek over the movie and sabotage allegations.
“Sadly, MorganCreek decided to take advantage of this situation and attempt to frustrate our project by interfering with our business relationships,” the rep stated. “We will not be frightened by MorganCreek’s tactics and we are absolutely confident that the movie will be produced and released.”
The news comes on the heels of the success of Notorious, the life story of Tupac Shakur’s one time rival, The Notorious B.I.G. The movie grossed over $21 million dollars in its opening weekend, despite bad reviews from critics.
Both artists were involved in a bitter feud that eventually led to their deaths. Shakur was gunned down on the Las Vegas strip in September of 1996, while B.I.G. was shot and killed six months later in Los Angeles in March of 1997.
Since their deaths, entire cottage industries have sprung up around both Shakur and B.I.G. in the form of numerous posthumous releases, including books, albums, TV specials, documentaries and movies.
“Tupac’s story is what Hollywood legends are made of – and we want to make sure that the movie tells Tupac’s story like it should be told and lives up to everyone’s expectations,” the rep for Amaru said.