Voletta Wallace-Approved Film for Johnny Depp’s ‘City of Lies’ Explores Notorious B.I.G. Murder

Questions about Johnny Depp’s career and reputation arose after he lost his libel suit in a U.K. court. But he’s still working. The former Pirates of the Caribbean star has a new film coming out about hip-hop legend Notorious B.I.G. after a two-year delay. City of Lies has Depp playing detective in the unsolved murder mystery.

Johnny Depp, Notorious B.I.G.
Johnny Depp at Monte-Carlo Gala For Planetary Health | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images for La Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco; Notorious B.I.G. 1995 | Chris Walter/WireImage/Getty Images

Johnny Depp’s ‘City of Lies’ addresses Biggie’s murder investigation

Initially slated for a 2018 release, City of Lies stars Forest Whitaker and Johnny Depp in a crime drama about Biggie’s murder and its connection to Tupac Shakur. The film touches on the feud between both rappers, Suge Knight’s involvement, and the link between the murder and the police department.

A new trailer features Depp as a detective who’s been trying to solve the case for years when he’s approached by a persistent journalist played by Whitaker.

According to a synopsis for the film, City of Lies is based on the true story of Russell Poole:

Based on the book, LAByrinth, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Randall Sullivan, this compelling crime-thriller follows the investigation into the infamous murder of iconic rap artist Christopher Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G. Oscar nominee Johnny Depp stars as determined LAPD detective Russell Poole, who spent nearly 20 years trying to solve the murder, and Oscar® and Primetime Emmy winner Forest Whitaker as Jack Jackson, a journalist who teams up with Poole in search of the elusive truth. Together they explore why the case remains cold — and why a secret division of the LAPD is seemingly set on keeping it that way.

RELATED: How Many Children Did Notorious B.I.G. Have and Who Are Their Mothers?

‘City of Lies’ has approval of Biggie’s mom

The book City of Lies was released in 2002 and caused a ruckus in the media and with Los Angeles law enforcement.

Both murders remain unsolved, but the book helped propel Biggie’s mother, Voletta Wallace, to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the LAPD. The case was dismissed eight years later in 2010, but the judge’s decision allowed for it to be refiled in the future.

The book was both praised and criticized for its examination of police officers tied to the case, but Wallace is giving a thumbs-up to the film adaptation. She posted a message on Facebook about its release and her involvement.

“I would like to present to you a film I’m happy to be a part of, ‘City Of Lies’ featuring Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker detailing the investigation into the my sons murder based on LAPD Detective Poole’s tireless efforts to solve the case,” she wrote. “Thank you to the Director Brad Furman and Johnny Depp for including me and my appreciation to the Poole family for sharing his story,” said Wallace.

In a separate message on Instagram, she noted how there was a fight to get the movie released as it’s based on true events.

'City of Lies' with Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker
Promotional poster for ‘City of Lies’ with Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker | Courtesy of Lionsgate/Saban Films

‘City of Lies’ coincides with B.I.G.’s death

Biggie — real name Christopher Wallace — died on March 9, 1997 after being shot during a drive-by in Los Angeles. A Netflix documentary titled Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell dropped on March 1 about the later rapper’s rise to fame and includes commentary from his family and those in his inner circle.

Both projects come at a time when hip-hop fans are remembering B.I.G.’s life and his contribution to the music game.

City of Lies arrives in theaters on March 19 and will be available on April 9 on all digital platforms.