Here’s something that may whet some curiosity: Johnny Depp has been pegged to lead Labyrinth, a fact-based crime drama about a Los Angeles detective who attempted to solve the mystery regarding the assassinations of hip hop iconoclasts Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. Sure to be a hotly sought after (and potentially controversial) title up for acquisition at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival – UTA and WME Global are handling domestic sales while Good Universe is overseeing acquisition interests overseas. Screen Daily was the first to report.
Brad Furman, who directed the well-received Matthew McConaughey legal drama The Lincoln Lawyer, is attached to direct the project working from a screenplay by Christian Contreras, itself based on Randall Sullivan’s book LAbyrinth: A Detective Investigates the Murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., the Implication of Death Row Records’ Suge Knight, and the Origins of the Los Angeles Police Scandal – that’s a lot to unpack.
Depp will portray the late Russell Poole, a respected and decorated police detective who in the late 1990s became engrossed in the unsolved murders of the rap superstars. He spent months in an investigation, eventually fueled by the belief, “gangsta cops in his own force were not only involved but were also tied to Death Row Records and the Bloods street gang.” The end effect of Poole’s investigation lead to conflicts with the Los Angeles Police Chief and eventually his retirement out of protest.
The major news out of this may be a showcase part for three-time Oscar nominee Depp, who as of late has been on the other end of less-than well-received recent features (Alice Through the Looking Glass, Mortdecai) and recent PR woes. The crime drama genre has served the actor well in past considering his acclaimed work in the 1997 feature Donnie Brasco to recent critical admiration in last fall’s Black Mass.
We will stay tuned to latest developments revolving Labyrinth.