Johnny Depp will tackle the role of Russell Poole in “Labyrinth,” The Hollywood Reporter revealed Wednesday. The film will depict Poole, the real-life LA police detective who investigated the purportedly connected murders of rappers Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G in the late ’90s. Brad Furman (“Lincoln Lawyer”) is attached to direct the project.
It was Russell Poole’s reports and theories that became the subject of the book upon which “Labyrinth” is based, Randall Sullivan’s “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.“
Although it was long speculated that Biggie had been somehow responsible for Shakur’s death, it was Poole who believed that Death Row CEO Suge Knight was a major factor in their rivalry. Russell also speculated that the LA Times and the LAPD were working together to cover up the crimes. The subsequent controversies from the investigation resulted in Poole’s early retirement.
While Depp was reviewed favorably for his portrayal of Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger in last year’s “Black Mass,” his return to Wonderland in “Alice Through The Looking Glass” this summer was not as generously received.
“Labyrinth” is expected to shoot in late 2016.