Johnny Depp, the hottest Hollywood star of the moment, has been given the intriguing role of a movie detective whose mission will be to investigate the murders of rap heroes Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G, Clique magazine and the UK’s Guardian Online said this week, citing a report from Hollywood Reporter.
Labyrinth will be directed by Brad Furman, reports said, adding that the film is an adaptation of the book ‘Labyrinth’ written by investigative journalist Randall Sullivan and published in 2003.
East Coast (New York)-based Tupac, whose hit songs such as’ Dear Mama’ and ‘California Love’ mesmerised the world in the mid-90s, was shot dead in Las Vegas in 1996. He was 25.
His arch rival and ‘sworn-enemy’, Notorious B.I.G. (real name Christopher Wallace), of the West Coast music gang, was subsequently killed in March 1997 in Los Angeles at the age of 24.
Both drive-by murders remain unresolved.
Depp will attempt to play the role of detective Russell Poole, of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), who investigated the murders and believed that corrupt officers from his own force were implicated in them, the Guardian Online reported on Tuesday.
This theory served as the basis for a legal case brought against the city of Los Angeles by Wallace’s mother, Violetta Wallace. But after five years the case was dismissed in 2010.
Poole’s findings were later crushed in a heated argument with the LAPD, with detective Greg Kading taking over the case in 2006 and concluding that it was more likely gangs were involved in the shootings rather than corrupt police officers.
A disgruntled Poole, who many believe lost credibility, was then forced into an early retirement and died last year of a heart attack.
The name of producer Suge Knight, Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs and police officer David Mack had also surfaced during the investigations, with reports suggesting that the three men masterminded B.I.G’s death.
While Depp is expected to do a wonderful job like he always does, the question that remains in every moviegoer’s lips is who will play Tupac and B.I.G.
“I’m not sure who they will chose to play Tupac and B.I.G. in this thriller. But I can’t wait to see that movie, which will definitely be mind-blowing and full of violence and dirty tricks. I mean we are talking about hip-hop here, and we all know how things can get really nasty out there,” Mary Joy Kimani, a college student and Depp fan, said this week in Nairobi.
Photo: from left Notoriious B.I.G., Johnny Depp and Tupac Shakur. credit: Clique/Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FlimMagic