A new scripted feature film on the 1990s investigation into the unsolved murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, is in development; however, the story will unfold through the eyes of the Los Angeles detective – Russell Poole – who was in charge of the inquiry.
Johnny Depp is attached to star in what is said to be a very attractive project (to buyers) at the upcoming Toronto film market, which kicks of in conjunction with the Toronto International Film Festival, today.
Good Universe is repping the film, titled “Labyrinth,” which is based on a book of the same name by Randall Sullivan, at TIFF.
The film will also dig into the uncovered corruption in the LAPD that Poole encountered, thanks to his dogged legwork, after endless dead ends in the cases.
UTA and WME Global jointly represent US rights to “Labyrinth,” with Brad Furman, who directed “The Infiltrator” (starring Bryan Cranston, which was released in July), and “The Lincoln Lawyer” (2011, starring Matthew McConaughey), will direct “Labyrinth” from a script penned by Christian Contreras.
Russell Poole was a decorated LA detective who devoted many months to the investigation, leading him to eventually conclude that “gangta cops in his own force were not only involved but were also tied to Death Row Records and the Bloods street gang.” Obviously LAPD brass weren’t too pleased with Poole for making this public, and he would later going into early retirement.
So obviously this is much less about Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, and more about Poole. But given the subject matter, it’s safe to assume that there will probably be a few key roles for black actors to play in the film.
No other casting has been announced at this time.
By the way, there’s a Tupac Shakur biopic that’s currently in production. Morgan Creek’s upcoming “All Eyez on Me,” stars Demetrius Shipp Jr. playing Tupac. He’s joined by Danai Gurira as Afeni Shakur, Dominic L. Santana as Suge Knight, Annie Ilonzeh as Kidada Jones, Grace Gibson as Faith Evans, Jamie Hector as Tupac’s stepfather Mutulu Shakur, Kat Graham as Jada Pinkett Smith, and Jamal Woolard as Biggie Smalls.
Benny Boom is directing the film.
No release date has been set yet, but I’d expect a late 2016, early 2017 release. Watch a teaser for the film below.