City of Lies, a crime film starring Johnny Depp and Forrest Whittaker, about the investigation into the death of rapper Notorious BIG – has reportedly been pulled from theatrical release a month before it was due to come out.
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The film, directed by Brad Furman, follows LAPD detective Russell Poole (Johnny Depp) investigating the murder of Notorious BIG, also known as Biggie Smalls (real name Christopher Wallace), the year after the murder of fellow rapper Tupac Shakur.
Whittaker plays journalist Jack Johnson, who joins forces with Poole to solve the murder.
Distributor Global Road Entertainment confirmed to industry press on Monday, August 6 that the film would no longer be released in the US on 7 September as planned but did not give further comment or any indication of a new release date.
Good Films Productions, the company behind City of Lies, did not respond immediately to the Guardian’s request for comment.
The film had a difficult production process with Johnny Depp allegedly assaulting a crew member, former location manager Greg “Rocky” Brooks, on set in Los Angeles. Brooks filed a lawsuit in July for unspecified damages.
The suit, which also names the film’s director and producers, alleges that Johnny Depp verbally abused Brooks before punching him twice. Brooks also alleges that he was fired when he wouldn’t agree not to sue, according to Associated Press reports.
The incident came shortly after Johnny Depp settled a $25m fraud case against his one-time business managers. It follows a long string of bad press, including allegations of domestic violence from his former wife, the actor Amber Heard, in 2016. The two settled their divorce and the domestic violence case in August that year.
City of Lies is based on the non-fiction book Labyrinth by Randall Sullivan which covers the investigation into BIG’s death. The murder remains unsolved.
The late rap legend, Notorious B.I.G.