08:41 GMT25 November 2020
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    Johnny Depp's latest film City of Lies, based on the murder of US rapper Notorious BIG in 1997, has been shelved. Sputnik looks at the film's unfortunate history and the unsolved murder of the rap legend.

    Distributor Global Road Entertainment confirmed on Monday, August 6, City of Lies would not be released in the US on September 7, as planned, and gave no indication when it might come out, leading to speculation that it had been spiked.

    In the mid-1990s two of the biggest names in rap music had a "beef" which may have cost both men their lives.

    Tupac Shakur, representing Los Angeles and the West Coast, and Notorious BIG, a New Yorker, fell out big time and exchanged vindictive lyrics.

    In September 1996 Tupac — real name Lesane Crooks — was shot dead in Las Vegas after a Mike Tyson fight — and six months later his nemesis was gunned down in Los Angeles.

    Conspiracy Theories Abound

    Neither murder has been solved and conspiracy theories swirl around both crimes.

    In 2003 Randall Sullivan wrote a book, Labyrinth, which explored allegations that off-duty LAPD cops had been involved in the murder of Notorious BIG, who was born Christopher Wallace and was also known as Biggie Smalls.

    A script for City of Lies, based on the book, was eventually produced and Johnny Depp was cast as a real-life LAPD detective, Russell Poole, who investigated the crime and the police corruption allegations, which eventually became known as the Rampart scandal.

    ​Forrest Whittaker plays fictional journalist Jack Johnson in the film, which has been plagued with difficulties.

    At one point Depp allegedly assaulted location manager Greg "Rocky" Brooks on set in Los Angeles.

    Brooks, who claimed Depp verbally abused him and punched him twice, filed a lawsuit last month for unspecified damages.

    'Drop Lawsuit or You're Fired'

    Brooks also claimed he was fired when he refused to promise not to sue Depp.

    Depp was making the film at the time of his acrimonious break-up from wife Amber Heard, who made allegations of domestic violence against him, which he denied.

    Born as Christopher Wallace on May 21, 1972 in Brooklyn, New York, Biggie Smalls started experimenting with music as a teenager and, not long after, befriended Sean "Puffy" Combs, later known as P. Diddy.

    ​His 1994 debut album, Ready to Die, was a smash hit.

    In 2007, 10 years after his murder, Wallace's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles and three former LAPD officers, David Mack, Rafael Pérez and Nino Durden, alleging they were involved in Biggie's murder. They later dropped the lawsuit.


    'Ten Track Commandments': Choose Your Favorite Notorious B.I.G. Hit
    Twitter-Quake as US Rapper Claims He's Giving Away All His 'Evil' Money to Fans
    Rapper Streams His Gunshot Wounds in GRAPHIC VIDEO 18+
    Paradis Rediscovered: Johnny Depp's Ex Ties Knott as France Beats Argentina
    film industry, movie, rap, murder, LAPD, Johnny Depp, Biggie Smalls, Tupac, Hollywood, Las Vegas, US, Los Angeles, New York
    Community standardsDiscussion