Virtual Tupac Shakur To Go On Tour?
Many media outlets and artists thought Tupac Shakur’s virtual resurrection at Coachella on Sunday was pretty much the coolest thing ever. The Los Angeles Times, however, called the stunt “a red herring, unnecessary and ill advised.” Whichever side of the fence you’re on, the projection of the deceased rapper may not be a onetime deal, given the amount of coverage the event has received. And according to one report, Shakur’s comrades Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, who staged the so-called hologram (it was actually a 2-D image, not a 3-D one, which constitutes holograms) during their set, could take virtual Tupac out on tour this year.
An insider has revealed to the Wall Street Journal that representatives for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg plan to discuss logistics for a tour involving the rappers and the virtual Shakur, which was created by San Diego-based company Digital Domain:
“One option would be a tour in stadiums, involving other hip-hop stars, including Eminem, 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa. Alternately, they could stage a more limited tour, featuring only Dre, Snoop Dogg and the virtual Tupac, in smaller arenas.”
“To create a completely synthetic human being is the most complicated thing that can be done,” Digital Domain’s chief creative officer, Ed Ulbrich, said in an interview with WSJ. “This is not found footage. This is not archival footage. This is an illusion. This is just the beginning. Dre has a massive vision for this.”
That said, the publication points out the following, via their source:
“A tour with the virtual Tupac is likely but not guaranteed, said the person familiar with the situation. The nascent plans could fall apart for any number of reasons. If the tour were to proceed, it would take many months of creative and technical planning, this person added.”
The Coachella performance was definitely a jaw-dropping moment, and one that may well eclipse anything that happens at the fest this coming weekend. (Even Shakur’s scheduled return to the festival.) But will taking a projected image of a person who’s been dead since 1996 to perform on tour be crossing a line?