As evidenced by 2015's box office smash Straight Outta Compton, more than enough people out there are hungry to see the world of hip-hop get the same kind of attention that other music genres get in Hollywood. TV dove into that could-be trend by ordering Unsolved, a true crime pilot based on the lives and deaths of rappers Tupac Shakur and Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace, and now the iconic roles have been cast. Amazingly, producers got Straight Outta Compton actor Marcc Rose to reprise his role as Tupac, while newcomer Wavvy Jonez was tapped to play Biggie Smalls.
Unsolved hopefully lucked out with these casting choices, since both were knowledgable picks. On the one hand, the producers already knew exactly what they could expect from Marcc Rose, since he already had a fantastic audition tape in the form of Straight Outta Compton. Granted, he wasn't utilized for very long within F. Gary Gray's feature, but it was enough to get basically everyone in the world saying, "Hot damn, that dude looks exactly like Tupac Shakur!" And now he'll get to show off that performance aspect a little more, with the hopes that audiences can one day watch as well.
On the flip side, the casting of Notorious B.I.G. was handled by producers through a nationwide casting call. Of all the videos that people sent in, it was apparently the one produced by Wavvy Jonez that won everyone over and secured what could be an extremely lucrative TV debut. While Marcc Rose's Tupac performance in Straight Outta Compton was complemented by a secondary actor's "singing voice," the same likely won't happen with Jonez, who is an amateur rapper in his own right. He only recently released the mixtape R.E.D. D.O.P.E. (Real Everyday Drama Doing Over People's Expectation), and we will likely see him doing his own vocal work, assuming the project actually secures Notorious B.I.G.'s music to incorporate into the show.
Based on the true crime book Murder Rap, by Greg Kading, Unsolved will center on the two investigations that were held after the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., and the show previously cast a trio of lead FBI agents with Battle Creek's Josh Duhamel, Fargo's Bokeem Woodbine and Westworld's Jimmi Simpson. The pilot was written by Suits story editor/producer Kyle Long, with People v. O.J. Simpson director Anthony Hemingway getting behind the camera.
As the pilot is currently casting, it's hard to know if the project's future will have all eyez on it or if it will be ready to die before moving. In the meantime, check out what USA and all the other channels will bring to the small screen in the near future with our midseason premiere schedule.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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