A new trailer for City of Lies has debuted, and it gives a deeper look at Johnny Depp hunting down Biggie Smalls' murderer. The film tells the story of retired detective LAPD Russell Poole who worked the case of the drive-by shooting that left Smalls — also known as The Notorious B.I.G. — dead. Forest Whitaker also stars, playing a journalist named Jackson teams with Poole almost 20 years later to further investigate the shooting. Whitaker's role was inspired by journalist and author Randall Sullivan, who wrote the book that the film is based on, LAbyrinth.
City of Lies was originally set to be released by Global Road Entertainment back in 2018, but was removed from the schedule one month before. It later screened the Noir in Festival, in Italy, in December of the same year. The film was given a limited release in Italy in 2019, but was not released anywhere else. Earlier this month, it was announced that Saban Films had acquired the film's distribution rights, and will be releasing it in theaters on March 19. It will reportedly receive a pay-video-on-demand release on April 9.
The story they didn’t want you to see - “City Of Lies” - based on true events, told from the perspective of Russell Poole, the lead detective tasked with solving the murder of Christopher “Notorious BIG” Wallace. pic.twitter.com/4XlSqNIMqo— infinitum nihil (@infinitumnihil) March 10, 2021
City of Lies is directed by Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer, Runner Runner), from a screenplay by Christian Contreras. Notably, this is Contreras' first produced film screenplay. He is most well-known for his work in front of the camera, appearing in films such as Snowden and Fury. This is not his first time working with Furman, as he also appeared in The Infiltrator, which Furman directed.
There have been a number of film and TV projects focusing on Smalls' murder, and City of Lies is one that landed the seal of approval from Smalls' mother, Voletta Wallace. In a past Facebook message, she expressed her support for the film and encouraged Smalls' fans to seek it out. She also thanked the filmmakers for taking on the story and delivering what she felt was an honest portrayal of the investigation around her son's death.
"I would like to present to you a film I'm happy to be a part of, City Of Lies featuring Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker detailing the investigation into my son's murder based on LAPD Detective Poole's tireless efforts to solve the case," Wallace wrote. "Thank you to Director Brad Furman and Johnny Depp for including me and my appreciation to the Poole family for sharing his story." City of Lies opens in theaters next Friday.