The suit - filed today by Kevin Powell, a longtime pop culture writer, author, activist - accuses the film's executive producers, screenwriters and distributors of cribbing from three cover stories on Shakur that Powell wrote for Vibe during the height of Shakur's career. He cites one example, in which a character by the name of Nigel is based on a real person named Haitian Jack.
The pervasive opinion in the hip-hop community seems to be that the new Tupac Shakur biopic is, to put it charitably, underwhelming, especially for those who were privy to the real-life legend's rise to stardom.
Kevin Powell has issued a statement regarding the lawsuit on his Facebook page. The movie, the suit claims, was therefore "derived from Plaintiffs' Original Work".
For the damages, Powell's lawyers say he is entitled to up to $180,000 "per broadcast" of the film. This included fact-specific narrative changes and character creation in an effort to protect the legacy that Tupac was still building.
This lawsuit is only beginning, and at this time, Lionsgate did not respond to requests for comment due to the ongoing litigation. His background, artistry and rise to fame have been the subject of many documentaries but few dramatic films.
According to Deadline, Powell is looking for a significant portion of the $31 million All Eyez on Me has made at the box office so far, as well as for the film to be removed from theaters. Meanwhile, Pac's friend Jada Pinkett-Smith called out some of the scenes between herself and Tupac as being fabricated, Tweeting "Forgive me... my relationship to Pac is too precious to me for the scenes in All Eyez On Me to stand as truth".