Director Antoine Fuqua has left the director’s seat for the upcoming untitled Tupac Shakur biopic that had been set to begin production this summer, Collider report.

The biopic has long been in production, and as THR reported back in February, a lawsuit from the production company, Morgan Creek, against Afeni Shakur-Davis, Shakur’s mother, followed by Shakur’s mother counter-suing have been going on for the past two years that have meant it couldn’t yet get off the ground.

Whilst an agreement was finally made earlier this year outside of the courtroom that gave Shakur-Davis an undisclosed fee, a percentage of the film’s profits, and an executive producer credit, after she spoke with Fuqua about the direction he wanted to take the film, it’s now been announced that Fuqua has left the project, for reasons unknown.

Though the news will be unwelcome to fans who have been looking forward to the Tupac biopic, fans of Eminem’s will welcome the news that Fuqua is instead said to be set to helm the Grammy and Academy Award-winning, multi-platinum album-selling rapper’s project, Southpaw. Fuqua’s involvement is not yet officially confirmed, but I personally hope that it’s just a matter of time before it is.

Fuqua directed Denzel Washington to his second Academy Award in Training Day back in 2001, directed Mark Wahlberg in Shooter in 2007, and is set to make a biopic of the Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar, next year. I think Fuqua taking on Southpaw for 2013 would be a perfect fit.

The film has been written by Sons of Anarchy and The Shield writer/producer, Kurt Sutter, during his off-season before writing the fourth Sons of Anarchy season. Deadline announced the project back in December last year, with Sutter giving some in-depth detail of how he’s approached the script:

“I took meetings with Marshall’s producing partners over the past 7 years, looking for something to do together. I know he’s very selective and doesn’t do a lot. But he shared so much of his personal struggle in this raw and very honest album, one that I connected with on a lot of levels. He is very interested in the boxing genre, and it seemed like an apt metaphor, because his own life has been a brawl. In a way, this is a continuation of the 8 Mile story, but rather than a literal biography, we are doing a metaphorical narrative of the second chapter of his life. He’ll play a world champion boxer who really hits a hard bottom, and has to fight to win back his life for his young daughter. At its core, this is a retelling of his struggles over the last five years of his life, using the boxing analogy. I love that the title refers to Marshall being a lefty, which is to boxing what a white rapper is to hip hop; dangerous, unwanted and completely unorthodox. It’s a much harder road for a southpaw than a right handed boxer.”

For those who saw Eminem in 8 Mile back in 2002, you’ll know that his acting talents are impressive. It’s not been often that we’ve seen him on the screen, only really cropping up in cameos in Funny People and Entourage since then, and I personally can’t wait for Southpaw to get properly underway, though it’s a shame that the Tupac project will likely be facing limbo indefinitely for the time being.