Friday, May 17, 2013

Endangered Species: A 20th Anniversary Retrospective of ‘Menace II Society’ (Part 5)

In honor of the 20th anniversary of ‘Menace II Society,’ I proudly present this multipart retrospective.  The current chapter is posted below.  To read the previous chapter, please click here.  Thank you, and enjoy! 

Chapter V: Gathering the Troops

The Tender Trio had gotten all of their ducks in a row.  They now had a script, a star (in a supporting role), and a studio.  The participation of Tupac Shakur ensured that Menace II Society would be made in conjunction with New Line Cinema.   It was the best deal the trio could hope for at that time.  However, there were early signs of trouble.  Tupac’s erratic behavior was worsening by the day.  The film’s subject matter openly courted controversy.  When word of the project got around, other Black filmmakers tried to sabotage it.  The studio received a number of angry calls.  Though undeterred, New Line was definitely cautious.