Inside the Shocking Death of Johnny Depp’s Biggie-Murder Movie “City of Lies”
City of Lies, the crime thriller starring Johnny Depp as LAPD Detective Russell Poole investigating the murders of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, has been pull from distributor Global Road’s schedule a month prior to releasing in theaters.
Per The Hollywood Reporter, the film set to release in North America on September 7. But no new date has been set for the film. No word on if this means the film is simply getting a new release window. If it will be move to streaming services, or if it won’t receive a release entirely. There is similarly no word on why the film is being pull in the first place.
The film, base on the book LAbyrinth by Randall Sullivan. Also stars Forest Whitaker as a journalist that teams up with Poole to discover the truth of the murders. The film directed by Brad Furman, who work on The Lincoln Lawyer and The Infiltrator.
The narrative surrounding the decision by production and distribution company Global Road Entertainment. That to indefinitely postpone the release of the film City of Lies. It doesn’t tell the whole story, say multiple people involve with the production.
City of Lies, stars Johnny Depp as an LAPD detective investigating the still-unsolve 1997 murder of rapper Biggie Smalls.
Media reports have blam the decision to cancel the opening on Depp’s erratic behavior, pointing to, in part, allegations. That he assault the film’s location manager, who later fil a lawsuit seeking unspecify damages.
According to court filings, Depp is accus of punching location manager Gregg “Rocky” Brooks after Brooks inform the star. That an upcoming take would have to be the last outdoor shot for the night as their permit about to expire.
However, crew members who were there insist it never escalat beyond a verbal confrontation and no punches were ever thrown.
“They had a little moment, there weren’t punches, there wasn’t anything, just were in each others’ face for a second,” script supervisor Emma Danoff. Who sitting next to Depp when the allege altercation began, told The Daily Beast. “We shot for maybe another hour-and-a-half after that, we went inside. We finish and the locations guy came up to Johnny and they hugg and it was all cute and that was it.”
Three other crew members who spoke to The Daily Beast support Danoff’s recollection.
Reach by email, Brooks’ lawyer Arbella Azizian vigorously disput this version of events.
“[M]y client punch,” Azizian said. “He punch twice in the rib cage and this was witness… I suggest you use a different source to get a more accurate assessment of what happen on set.”
Depp’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, issue the following statement to The Daily Beast: “Despite false media reports suggesting otherwise, Johnny Depp never touch the person suing him. As over a dozen witnesses present will attest. In a court filing we have generally deny all claims and we will fight these latest sham allegations.”
Yet, whatever did or did not happen between Depp and Brooks, City of Lies director Brad Furman sees the distinct possibility of darker forces at work to kill his movie.
The film’s release officially shelved on July 19, according to industry data collect by RenTrak.
Furman told The Daily Beast he didn’t learn of the decision until the beginning of August. That during a conference call with Global Road executives, who he says inform him that “they had spoken to Johnny Depp’s people at CAA. And that his agents were in accord with this course of action and that a Johnny Depp movie at this time was not releasable.” But when Furman “start talking to people and doing my own due diligence. I realize that Johnny Depp’s team, including his point agent, including his sister who is his manager, none of them had heard anything about the push of the release.”
Author and investigative journalist Randall Sullivan, whose 2002 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 was the basis for City of Lies, says he immediately suspicious of Global Road’s motivations when head of publicity Lori Burns told him by phone that the movie being shelved.
“She trying so hard to sell the narrative that this was all about the bad publicity for Johnny, and when someone’s trying too hard to sell it comes through,” Sullivan told The Daily Beast. “I thought, ‘You know, why is she trying so hard to convince me?’ If that’s true, then she could have just told me matter-of-factly but she’s going on and on about all the research they’ve done and that has made me start thinking, is there something else to it?”
Sullivan’s book rely largely on interviews with LAPD detective Russell Poole, Depp’s character in the film
Who finger Death Row Records boss Suge Knight as having mastermind Biggie’s murder with help from the LAPD. Poole forced to resign from the force in 1999; he died from a heart attack in 2015.
Since the information contain within over a decade old when Furman began adapting LAbyrinth into a movie, he enlist Sullivan to help connect him with key figures who investigate the murder of Biggie Smalls, whose real name was Christopher Wallace, to see what more he could find out.
Rating: NR (for language throughout, some violence and drug use)
Directed By: Brad Furman
Stars: Johnny Depp, Forest Whitaker, Toby Huss
Written By: Randall Sullivan
In Theaters: Sep 7, 2018 Limited
Runtime: 112 minutes