The fact that Johnny Depp was set to star in a movie about the deaths of Tupac and Biggie was noteworthy enough to make headlines earlier this month. So it came as a surprise to exactly nobody when it was announced on Monday that Labyrinth, which begins production in November, was acquired by Open Road Films, according to Entertainment Weekly. Tom Ortenberg, the company’s CEO, referred to the movie as “an edgy and timely investigative thriller” in a statement to the press.
Labyrinth is based on Randall Sullivan's 2003 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. The nonfiction book follows Detective Russell Poole (played by Depp, of course) as he investigates a cop-on-cop shooting that leads him deep into goings-on at Death Row Records and, eventually, to the murders of the two rap icons.
The real-life Poole passed away in 2015 of a heart attack. He spent years promoting his theory that Suge Knight was responsible for both Tupac’s murder, which he staged to avoid paying millions in royalties; and Biggie’s murder, which was supposed to be in retaliation for Pac’s killing.
Depp is undoubtedly hoping that Labyrinth will help rehabilitate his public image, which took a huge hit earlier this year amid allegations of domestic violence against ex-wife Amber Heard. Career-wise, the actor has had a string of flops in recent years, including Lone Ranger, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Black Mass, and Mortdecai.