The actor, 54, stars in the film as real-life LAPD detective Russell Poole, who was one of the lead investigators in the legendary rapper’s death by drive-by shooting in 1997.
“A murder like that only goes unsolved if the police don’t want to solve it,” Depp’s Poole says in the trailer, which debuted Monday on what would have been Notorious B.I.G. (real name Christopher Wallace’s) 46th birthday.
The film follows Poole who, two decades after the rapper’s murder, is still trying to crack the open case. In hopes of finally solving the mystery, he teams up with a reporter played by Forest Whitaker. Together, they begin to “unravel a growing web of institutional corruption and lies,” according to the film’s synopsis.
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“Relentless in their hunt, these two determined men threaten to uncover the conspiracy and crack the foundation of the L.A.P.D. and an entire city,” the synopsis adds.
City of Lies is based on Randall Sullivan’s non-fiction 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 film was originally titled LAbyrinth).
Other films that have explored the murders include the documentaries Biggie and Tupac (2002), Murder Rap: Inside the Biggie and Tupac Murders (2015), Fox’s Who Shot Biggie & Tupac? and USA’s Unsolved.
City of Lies hits theaters Sept. 7th.