by James Hill
June 16, 2016
You heard it straight from Malik Yoba’s mouth — Tupac Shakur was thisclose to being on “New York Undercover!” If you don’t remember the ’90s, that’s the equivalent of Drake starring in an episode of “Empire!” There are no words.
With starring roles in “Juice” and “Poetic Justice,” we weren’t surprised to find that “New York Undercover” wasn’t the only near-miss the rapper/actor was involved in — prepare to have your mind blown with these three movies that almost starred Tupac Shakur.
1. Sharif in “Menace II Society” (1993)
Naturally, after seeing him go HAM in “Juice,” you’d expect Pac to be up for the role of O-Dog but the directing Hughes Brothers initially wanted him for the book-ish Sharif (who was eventually played by Vonte Sweet.)
What Happened?: A few things. Actually, just one thing — Pac apparently beat the snot out of director Allen Hughes over some creative differences. That aside, Hughes later went on to say that it would have “thrown the whole axis of the movie off if Tupac was in it, because he was bigger than the movie.”
2. Jody in “Baby Boy” (2001)
Any fan knows that even five years after his death, the rapper’s aura loomed large in the film — mostly as a wall-sized picture in Jody’s (Tyrese) room but we didn’t know director John Singleton actually had Pac in mind for the role. It makes sense, considering the amazing performance he did for Singleton’s “Poetic Justice,” but still. Now we have to wonder what life would be like having seen Tupac in scenes with Taraji. Chills.
What Happened?: September 13, 1996 is what happened. Tupac was gunned down in a hail of bullets in Las Vegas in a case that still has many seeing ghosts.
3. Mace Windu in “Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace” (1999)
We $h!t you not. Tupac Shakur was almost a Jedi. And not just any Jedi — THE Jedi with a bald head and singular purple lightsaber, Windu is the baddest dude in the galaxy. Rolling Stone magazine reports that Tupac leaked the news to a Death Row Records engineer that he was on his way to do a reading for George Lucas in 1996.
What Happened?: Again, Pac’s untimely death left the role to Samuel L. Jackson. We also imagine that maybe George Lucas didn’t want to see them hands if he and Pac couldn’t agree lightsaber length.
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