Jamal "Gravy" Woolard has signed on to play slain rapper icon Notorious B.I.G. in a Fox Searchlight Pictures big-screen biopic named Notorious. Woolard is a Brooklyn-based rapper with no prior acting credentials.
Angela Bassett, Derek Luke and Anthony Mackie have also signed on to star in the film.
George Tillman Jr. will direct the film based on the screenplay by Cheo Hodari Coker and Reggie Rock Bythewood. The production is set to start shooting on March 24 in all five boroughs of New York. Antonique Smith, Naturi Naughton, Dennis White and Julia Pace Mitchell are also featured in the film.
Notorious is being produced by Wayne Barrow, Voletta Wallace, Mark Pitts, Bob Teitel and Trish Hofmann. Sean "Diddy" Combs is the executive producer. The film has a release date of Jan. 16, 2009.
The film will follow the life of Christopher Wallace (Notorious B.I.G.) as he goes from the streets of Brooklyn to become one of the world’s biggest hip-hop icons. His murder has still never been solved.
Bassett has signed to play his mother, Voletta Wallace; Luke will handle the role of Sean "Diddy" Combs; and Mackie will play the role of fellow hip-hop icon Tupac Shakur.
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