20 years ago today, Tupac Shakur was fatally shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas. Six months later, his chief hip-hop rival, Biggie Smalls, suffered a similar fate when he was gunned down in Los Angeles. As of today, both murders remain unsolved.
Johnny Depp intends to change that.
Screen Daily reports that Depp is attached to a new thriller called Labyrinth, in which he’ll play Russell Poole, a former LAPD detective who spent his life trying to solve the rappers’ murders. Poole, who passed away last year, long held the belief that Death Row Records head Suge Knight orchestrated both killings. With Tupac’s murder, Knight sought to avoid paying the rapper millions of dollars in royalties, Poole alleged. The theory continues: Knight then attempted to pin Tupac’s death on Biggie by making it seem as if his own murder six months later was a retaliation killing carried out by gang members associated with Tupac.
Labyrinth is based on Randall Sullivan’s 2002 book of the same name. The film adaptation, currently being shopped around at TIFF, will be directed by Brad Furman (The Infiltrator).
In addition to Labyrinth, Tupac is the subject of standalone biopic currently in production; All Eyez On Me, starring Demetrius Shipp, Jr. as Pac, is slated to hit theaters later this year. It follows Notorious, the Biggie biopic starring Jamal Wollard, which was released in 2009.
Update – Tuesday, September 20th: Open Road Films has acquired the North American rights to the film, with Miramax serving as a co-financer, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Production is slated to begin in November.