It's safe to say that Johnny Depp hasn't been picking the best movies in recent years. From Transcendence and The Lone Ranger to Mortdecai and Yoga Hosers, the actor has had a long run of flops, be it critical, commercial or both, that have done a disservice to showing off his acting talent. However, one of his better-received projects of late was Black Mass, where he played notorious mobster Whitey Bulger. Perhaps looking to repeat some of that success, Depp may be joining another crime movie, only this time, he'll be on the side of the law looking into the deaths of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls.
It was reported yesterday by Screen Daily that Johnny Depp will play Russell Poole, the Los Angeles detective who investigated the murders of the two rappers, in Labyrinth (that's right, this isn't a remake of the Jim Henson movie). Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter later tweeted out that Depp hasn't officially joined the movie yet, although earlier today, he said that now most of his sources "insist" Depp is a shoe-in for the role. Made by Good Films, the movie will reportedly be helmed by The Infiltrator director Brad Furman, and Christian Contreras is penning the screenplay based off the Labyrinth book written by Randall Sullivan.
A detective with the Los Angeles Police Department from 1981 to 1999, Russell Poole rose to prominence in 1997 when he was investigating a cop-on-cop shooting. During the course of his case, he eventually formed possible connections between some of these cops, who had ties with Death Row Records, and the murders of both Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. Poole's findings led to a major shakeup within the LAPD that eventually resulted in two lawsuits against the police force and Poole being forced to resign, though he continued his crime solving work as a private investigator until his death in 2015.
Like we said earlier, Johnny Depp hasn't had much success with many of his recent roles, but Black Mass proved he can flourish in the world of crime. Even though his involvement in Labyrinth isn't official yet, this could be just the movie to help revitalize Depp's big screen presence. A movie about the detective investigating Tupac and Biggie's deaths is bound to be an interesting drama, even though, unfortunately, there won't be a definite conclusion since their murders remain unsolved.
Labyrinth hasn't been assigned a release date yet, but the Screen Daily article did mention that Good Films producer Miriam Segal is in Toronto looking to "rustle up enthusiasm" among buyers before its production begins later this year, so evidently the production company eager to get started. Stay tuned to Cinema Blend for all relevant updates surrounding the movie's progress.
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