Juice Turns 25 Years Old. This Collection Shows Why It’s Still Hard As Steel (Video)
Twenty five years ago today (January 17, 1992), Ernest R. Dickerson’s directorial debut film Juice hit theaters. Starring Omar Epps and Tupac Shakur (in addition to Samuel L. Jackson), the film adapted a classic story-line of deception, betrayal, and greed within a circle of friends. For Shakur, a trained actor, the film perfectly coincided with his meteoric rise as a solo musical artist.
Like his real life persona to some, especially in Rap, the film presented Shakur’s character of “Bishop” as an antihero. The antagonist of the Dickerson film would not have transferred so viscerally without Shakur’s performance. That same fiery gumption would reappear three and four years later, as Shakur’s real life movement picked battles within his own circles (The Notorious B.I.G., Thug Life’s Randy “Stretch” Walker, Faith Evans, etc.)
With the noteworthy anniversary, Tupac remains in the news today. Now more than 20 years since he eventually succumbed to injuries from a drive-by shooting on the Las Vegas strip, Shakur’s sanctioned biopic, All Eyez On Me has a theatrical release date. The film has seen two trailers release in the last nine months. Now, the film will release on June 16, 2017, what would have been Tupac’s 46th birthday. The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the latest official release date. The first trailer was released on June 16, 2016. The second, arrived in fall of last year:
Initially planned for 2016 release, the Eagle Rock Entertainment film is directed by Benny Boom. Previously, Benny directed music videos for Ja Rule, 50 Cent, Nas, and Busta Rhymes. The work is also co-produced by L.T. Hutton, a label executive and music producer who was once an employee of the same Death Row Records Shakur was signed to at the time of his killing.
The forthcoming film features Demetrius Shipp, Jr. as “Tupac,” Danai Gurira as “Afeni Shakur,” and The Wire‘s Jamie Hector as Shakur’s stepfather, “Mutulu Shakur.” Shipp, the lead actor, is making a breakthrough appearance. His father was a producer for Shakur, including Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory single “Toss It Up.” Artists including Tha Outlawz’ E.D.I. and Kastro, as well as Digital Underground’s Money-B will reportedly play themselves.
At a historical glance at its 25-year mark, Juice remains Shakur’s breakthrough film and television credit (aside from a Digital Underground-related cameo in Nothing But Trouble). He was a star in at least five more feature films in the time between Juice and his death.
With its Hip-Hop soundtrack (spawning hits for Eric B. & Rakim as well as Shakur’s close associates Naughty By Nature), the film is a touchstone to ’90s fashion, slang, and music. Notably, the film also features Treach (who also auditioned for “Bishop”), Special Ed, Queen Latifah, EPMD, Yo-Yo, and others.
Here are some of Pac’s most memorable scenes from the 1992 thriller:
Ernest R. Dickerson, who was widely known for his cinematography on Spike Lee joints, would later direct Surviving The Game, Bulletproof, and Never Die Alone. He would work extensively on The Wire in the 2000s.