The Tupac Shakur biopic is finally under way after facing a few setbacks. Titled "All Eyez on Me," the film began production in Atlanta this week. Several of the movie's cast and crew members have flooded social media with behind-the-scenes photographs taken on the set.
While director Benny Boom and producer L.T. Hutton have not officially announced the cast, TMZ reported up-and-coming actor Demetrius Shipp Jr. landed the role of Tupac. "The Vampire Diaries" star Kat Graham reportedly will play Jada Pinkett Smith, and actor Jamal Woolard will play rapper Biggie Smalls. Woolard first portrayed the "Juicy" performer in the 2009 film "Notorious." Hill Harper has also joined the cast and has been sharing pictures of his character on his Instagram page.
According to Bossip, "All Eyez on Me" will tell the story of Tupac’s rise to stardom, his time at Death Row Records and his 1996 slaying in Las Vegas.
Check out the four things to know about Shipp, and see some of the photos from the set below.
1. "All Eyez on Me" will be Shipp's first big acting gig. According to TMZ, he started taking acting classes four days a week to prepare for the role of Tupac.
2. Shipp's father, Demetrius Shipp Sr., knew Tupac. It's unclear how close they were, but sources told TMZ that Shipp Sr., who worked in the music business, crossed paths with the "Dear Mama" rapper several times before his death.
3. Morgan Creek Productions held a casting call trying to find the actor to play Tupac, but TMZ's sources claim Hutton asked Shipp Jr. to take the lead because of the uncanny resemblance between him and Tupac.
4. Shipp Jr. appears to be new to Instagram. The actor has only a few photos on his account, and all are from the set of "All Eyez on Me." In a post shared Friday, Shipp Jr. wrote he was "thankful" to be chosen to star in the movie.
"Blessed to be in this positon," he wrote alongside a photo of himself and Harper on set. "Thankful I got to start my career off working with the great legend. Appreciate you brotha 4real."
— Tha Celebritea (@thacelebritea) December 19, 2015
Wait Kat is in a movie about tupac? pic.twitter.com/eaar0sapVb
— Elizabeth (@PrettyGirlBeMe) December 19, 2015
— Lee Bailey (@eurweb) December 19, 2015
— Instagram Of Atlanta (@igofatlanta) December 18, 2015