“A murder like that only goes unsolved…if the police don’t want to solve it.” Thus mutters Johnny Depp, as Los Angeles police detective Russell Poole, in the trailer for the long-teased City of Lies, a movie about the long-term investigation into the murder of the Notorious B.I.G. Directed by Brad Furman (The Infiltrator, The Lincoln Lawyer, the music video for Justin Bieber’s “What Do You Mean?”), the film is set 20 years after the murder (which would make it take place in 2017), and there are certainly, obviously, definitely going to be lots of dramatic-as-hell flashbacks. While it remains unreal that Johnny Depp still lands huge film roles–despite his alleged abusive behavior and the fact that he exists in the mid-’10s an ossified self-parody–there’s something particularly absurd about this casting. Evil wizard in the Harry Potter franchise, cartoonish cad in Murder on the Orient Express? Sure, those roles are to be expected. Wizened, hard-boiled L.A. cop? That’s significantly more puzzling. An overzealous Forest Whittaker is his co-star and plays a relentless reporter ‘Jack’ Jackson.
The film is based on Randal Sullivan’s 2003 non-fiction book LAbyrinth. City of Lies gets its theatrical release on September 7, and is liable to crack this thing open once and for all. Watch the trailer below.