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Johnny Depp Investigates Tupac And Biggie Smalls Murders In 'City Of Lies' Trailer

Stewart Perrie

| Last updated 

Johnny Depp Investigates Tupac And Biggie Smalls Murders In 'City Of Lies' Trailer

Featured Image Credit: Global Road Entertainment

It's outrageous that two incredibly big-name hip-hop stars were gunned down - in separate incidents - and yet more than 20 years after the murders took place, both cases remain unsolved.

But Johnny Depp's new film, City of Lies, hopes to look into why the cases for Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. have yet to be closed.


Depp plays retired LAPD detective Russell Poole, who was assigned to investigate both murders, while Forest Whittaker is a journalist named Jackson who teams up with Poole to find out what actually happened.

The trailer alludes to the idea that the Los Angeles Police Department know some details about Tupac and Biggie's murders that haven't yet been released to the public.

Tupac was on the Las Vegas strip in 1996, when a white Cadillac pulled up next to the vehicle he was in and someone unloaded a bevy of bullets, four of which hit the legendary rapper.

Notorious B.I.G. was killed a year later in similar circumstances - the car he was in was at a red light in Los Angeles when another vehicle pulled up next to it and a person fired several shots, again, four of which hit Biggie.

Area cordoned off where Biggie's car was shot up. Credit: PA
Area cordoned off where Biggie's car was shot up. Credit: PA

Whittaker's character is based on a real-life reporter, Randall Sullivan, who, in 2002, published a book called (take a deep breath) 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.

Yikes, that's a long title.

When that book was released, it caused quite a stir.

He interviewed Poole (who was also a real person) over a period of several years, and the detective was insistent that both murders could be traced back to Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight. The retired detective was certain that Knight orchestrated the assassinations and the LAPD helped him cover it up.

Randall Sullivan. Credit: Jeanne Field/Creative Commons
Randall Sullivan. Credit: Jeanne Field/Creative Commons

Poole left the police force two years after the Biggie murder because of ongoing arguments with the higher-ups over several homicide cases.

Nearly 20 years after Tupac's death, Poole tried to get the LAPD to re-open both cases, however he died suddenly from a heart attack.

There are plenty of theories about why Tupac and Biggie were murdered and conspiracy lovers continue to spout claims that they're actually both still alive.

Investigative journalist and author Cathy Scott released a book, The Murder of Biggie Smalls, in 2000, which was similar to Sullivan's theory that the killings weren't the result of an East coast West coast feud, but because the rappers were worth more to their record companies dead than alive.

Both cases remain unsolved to this day and while City of Lies won't hold the key as to who was behind it, it looks set to prompt a lot of questions.

The film will be released on 7 September this year.

Topics: johnny depp, Entertainment, TV and Film, Celebrity, Interesting, Tupac Shakur

Stewart Perrie
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