Acclaimed actors Forest Whitaker and Johnny Depp star in new film City of Lies, a crime drama about the investigation into the murder of The Notorious B.I.G. twenty-four years ago today in Los Angeles. Biggie’s death closed the tragic story of an East Coast/West Coast hip-hop beef which also claimed the life of fellow star Tupac Shakur.
The film, based on Randall Sullivan‘s 2002 true crime tome, LAbyrinth, was initially produced in 2018 and slated for release in September of that year but was stalled for various reasons and only received a limited theatrical release in Italy in 2019. While there are conflicting reports about why the film was delayed—from Depp’s personal legal troubles to the fact that its account of the events seemingly implicates the Los Angeles Police Department in legal wrongdoings.
City of Lies was later acquired by Saban Films, which will release the Biggie Smalls murder investigation film in theaters on March 19th, 2021 followed by an April 9th, 2021 video on-demand debut.
In the film, Depp stars as retired LAPD detective Russell Poole, who works with a Whitaker’s “Jack” Jackson, a journalist, to attempt to find the culprits of the drive-by shooting that took the life of The Notorious B.I.G.
City of Lies – Official Movie Poster
In a newly released trailer for the film, we get our first visuals of the gritty crime story and are presented with the stakes of the investigation through a mix of dramatized footage and actual clips and stills of Biggie and his mother, Voletta Wallace.
While it’s unclear how much of the film’s plot will be embellished for dramatic purposes and how much will stick to Sullivan’s actual accounts of the events, the film is sure to make the reality of the dramatized investigation sting a little more than usual: nearly a quarter-century later, the murders of both The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur remain officially unsolved.
Check out the trailer for City of Lies, the forthcoming film about the investigation into the murder of Biggie Smalls, below via Saban Films.
City of Lies – Official Teaser Trailer (2021)
[Video: Saban Films]
[H/T Rolling Stone]