USA Network has found its Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marcc Rose and Wavyy Jonez have been cast to play the iconic rappers (respectively) in the drama pilot about their unsolved murders.
Rose reprises his role from the 2015 hit film Straight Outta Compton, in which he made his acting debut. Meanwhile, the pilot will be Jonez’ first acting role. He was discovered after a nationwide casting call, and is also a rapper.
As previously reported, Unsolved: The Murders of Biggie and Tupac (working title) is a scripted true crime serial that chronicles the two major police investigations into the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls.
Shakur, who, at the time of his death, was just 25 years old, was shot and killed in Las Vegas in 1996. Smalls, birth name Christopher Wallace was shot and killed in Los Angeles six months later. His death also remains unsolved.
Rose and Jonez will join previously cast actors Jimmi Simpson, Bokeem Woodbine and Josh Duhamel, all three of whom will play police employees integral to the unsolved cases.
Anthony Hemingway (American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson) will direct and executive produce. He told us about the challenges of taking on the project while at the 48th NAACP Image Awards.
“It is challenging, as we did with the People V O.J. there’s so much research, and it just takes time to figure out what story we are telling, and you can’t tell it all.”
Hemingway did let us know that this project will differ from previous and upcoming films about the rappers.
“We are definitely looking to pour more humanity into their lives. More than any other story that has been told on them. That creates a lane I think or capacity to show them as young men before the success ravaged their friendship.”
In 2005 the biopic Notorious about Smalls rise from A+ student to super star rapper was released in theaters. Later this hear the long-awaited biopic All Eyez On Me about Shakur will be released. The film LAbryrinth about their unsolved murders, starring Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker is also slated to hit theaters.