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Black Writer Sues, Says All Eyez On Me Ripped From His Work
January 22 2018, 08:24 | Perry Erickson
“All Eyez On Me” Shatters Expectations, Pulls $27.1 Million Opening Weekend
Kevin Powell wrote a series of articles for Vibe in the mid '90s focusing on Tupac's 2 major influences - the civil rights movement (his mother, Afeni Shakur, was a Black Panther). and the gangsta rap movement. James G Robinson and David Robinson from Morgan Creek are producing along with Program Pictures' LT Hutton.
The feature film is written by Jeremy Haft & Ed Gonzalez and Steve Bagatourian, and is directed by Benny Boom (Next Day Air).
Powell's lawyers are demanding the film be pulled from theatres or that their client receive a cut of the earnings - between $750 and $30,000 USA per showing. The complaint states, "While some of the content in these articles was factual, some portions of the article were changed or embellished by Plaintiff". Much of the drama in Tupac's life can be linked directly to Powell's interviews with him. "This made up character of Nigel was the embellishment of a real life character that was central to the narrative in [Powell's] articles".
Powell is also in the process of writing a biography on the legend. "Kevin's exclusive and intimate access to Tupac Shakur came as a result of the trust established over the years", his lawyer Keith White told the Daily News.
Pop culture writer Kevin Powell, who gained fame for his Vibe Magazine cover stories about the rapper, is suing the film's producers, writers and distributors.
"The narrative that Kevin developed from many intense and exclusive moments with Tupac should not have been used in any film without Kevin's approval and consultation", White continued. Critics have panned the movie and Jada Pinkett Smith, a close friend of Shakur's, contradicted several scenes in the film and called her portrayal "deeply hurtful". The film brought in $26.4 million in its opening weekend.