City of Lies

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City of Lies
City of Lies Official Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBrad Furman
Produced by
  • Miriam Segal
  • Paul Brennan
  • Stuart Manashil
Screenplay byChristian Contreras
Based onLAbyrinth
by Randall Sullivan
Music byChris Hajian
CinematographyMonika Lenczewska
Edited byLeo Trombetta
Distributed byMiramax
Release date
  • December 8, 2018 (2018-12-08) (Noir in Festival)
  • January 10, 2019 (2019-01-10) (Italy)
Running time
112 minutes
CountryUnited States

City of Lies is a 2018 American crime film directed by Brad Furman and written by Christian Contreras. It is based on the book LAbyrinth by Randall Sullivan, about the murder investigations of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. The film stars Johnny Depp as retired detective LAPD Russell Poole and Forest Whitaker as a journalist Jackson, with Rockmond Dunbar and Neil Brown Jr. also starring.

Originally set to be released on September 7, 2018 by Global Road Entertainment, it was pulled off the schedule in August 2018; no new date has been announced, but it was screened out of competition at the Noir in Festival on December 8, 2018 and later get a limited release in Italy on January 10, 2019.


The film tells the story of former LAPD detective, Russell Poole (Johnny Depp), who in 1997 is working the murder cases of rappers Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. A reporter (based on journalist Randall Sullivan's collaboration with Russell Poole[1]), "Jack" Jackson, teams up with Poole after nearly two decades to find out the truth.[2]



Depp plays former LAPD detective Russell Poole

On February 4, 2013, it was reported that Miriam Segal's British production company Good Films had bought the film rights to Randall Sullivan's non-fiction book LAbyrinth, about the police corruption in Los Angeles involving the Russell Poole investigation of the unsolved murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls.[12] On September 7, 2016, Johnny Depp was reportedly cast in the film to play Poole, the Los Angeles police detective who investigated the murders of the rappers.[3] Brad Furman was announced to be directing the film from a script adapted by Christian Contreras.[3] On September 19, Open Road Films acquired the film's US distribution rights, and would co-finance the film along with Miramax, while Good Universe would handle the film's international sales.[2]


On November 11, 2016, Rockmond Dunbar was cast in the film to play Dreadlocks, while on November 16, Forest Whitaker also joined the film to play the journalist who teams up with the police officer to uncover the truth.[5][4] On November 17, Neil Brown Jr. was cast in the film to play police officer Rafael Pérez.[6] Xander Berkeley, Shea Whigham, Wynn Everett, and Toby Huss were cast in the film on December 13, while two days later Louis Herthum and Shamier Anderson also joined the film, with Herthum playing a city attorney who defends Poole on trial and Anderson playing corrupt LAPD officer David "D. Mack" Mack.[7][8] On January 6, 2017, Amin Joseph joined the film to play police officer Kevin Gaines, and on January 18, Laurence Mason to play an FBI agent, Dunton.[9][10] On January 23, 2017, newcomer Joseph Ferrante joined the film for an unspecified role.[11]


Principal photography on the film began on December 13, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.[13] Principal photography wrapped in May 2017.


The first trailer for the film, originally titled LAbyrinth, was released on May 21, 2018, which would have been The Notorious B.I.G.'s 46th birthday.[14] Following the merger between Open Road Films and IM Global to form Global Road Entertainment, the film was retitled City of Lies and given a release date of September 7, 2018, 22 years after the Tupac Shakur Las Vegas shooting.[15][16] However, in August 2018, the film was pulled from the schedule reportedly due to an ongoing lawsuit involving Depp and the film's location manager; no replacement date was announced.[17] Later that same month, on August 23, 2018, reports surfaced that Depp's legal trouble was used as a scapegoat, and the film in fact may be being suppressed by the Los Angeles Police Department, who is implicated in the film, or other various players who do not want the film released.[18] On August 29, 2018, another lawsuit was filed by Bank Leumi for owed millions of unpaid guarantees caused by pulling the film from release.[19]

However, in Italy City of Lies received its premiere when it was screened out of competition at the Noir in Festival as the closing film of the event [20][21] before it gets a limited release on January 10, 2019.

Home media[edit]

In Italy, it's released on Blu-ray on June 19, 2019.[22]


  1. ^ Jmix/JesseSurratt Productions (2017-06-14), Author Randall Sullivan Speaks On LAbyrinth The NEW Russell Poole Movie Starring Johnny Depp, retrieved 2017-07-15
  2. ^ a b c d Kroll, Justin (September 19, 2016). "Open Road Acquires Johnny Depp Crime Thriller 'Labyrinth'". Variety. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Kit, Borys (September 7, 2016). "Johnny Depp to Star in Notorious B.I.G.-Tupac Thriller 'Labyrinth'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Jr, Mike Fleming (November 16, 2016). "Forest Whitaker Joins Johnny Depp In Tupac/Notorious BIG Murder Drama 'LAbyrinth'". Deadline. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  5. ^ a b N'Duka, Amanda (November 11, 2016). "Rockmond Dunbar Joins Biggie-Tupac Thriller 'LAbyrinth'; Richard Robichaux Cast In 'Ocean's Eight' & 'Last Flag Flying'". Deadline. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  6. ^ a b N'Duka, Amanda (November 17, 2016). "'Straight Outta Compton's Neil Brown Jr. Heads To 'LAbyrinth'". Deadline. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d e N'Duka, Amanda (December 14, 2016). "'LAbyrinth' Adds To Its Cast As Production Begins; Shioli Kutsuna Joins 'The Outsider'". Deadline. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c N'Duka, Amanda (December 15, 2016). "Louis Herthum & Shamier Anderson Cast In 'LAbyrinth'". Deadline. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  9. ^ a b N'Duka, Amanda (January 7, 2017). "Amin Joseph Cast In 'LAbyrinth'; Shioli Kutsuna Joins Indie Film 'Oh Lucy!'". Deadline. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  10. ^ a b N'Duka, Amanda (18 January 2017). "'Soldado' Cast 'Teen Wolf' Actor Ian Bohen; Laurence Mason Boards 'LAbyrinth'". Deadline. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  11. ^ a b N'Duka, Amanda (January 23, 2017). "Netflix's 'Come Sunday' Adds Stacey Sargeant; Joseph Ferrante Cast In 'LAbyrinth'". Deadline. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  12. ^ Kemp, Stuart (February 4, 2013). "U.K.'s Good Films Buys Rights to L.A. Cop Corruption Novel 'LAbyrinth'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  13. ^ Evry, Max (January 13, 2017). "First Look at Johnny Depp and His Mustache in LAbyrinth". Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  14. ^ Carson, Rene (May 21, 2018). "New trailer for Johnny Depp/Forest Whitaker murder mystery City of Lies now online". Film Fetish. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  15. ^ Frater, Patrick (2018-05-09). "Johnny Depp's 'City of Lies' Acquired for China". Variety. Retrieved 2018-05-13.
  16. ^ "Johnny Depp is investigating 2pac and Biggie's murder in this new trailer for City of Lies". Film Industry Network. May 21, 2018.
  17. ^ Hipes, Patrick (August 6, 2018). "Johnny Depp's 'City Of Lies' Movie Pulled From Release Schedule". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  18. ^ Rohrlich, Justin (2018-08-23). "Inside the Shocking Death of Johnny Depp's Biggie-Murder Movie 'City of Lies'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
  19. ^ Emery, Debbie (August 29, 2018). "Global Road, Miramax Sued by Bank Over Refusal to Release 'City of Lies'". Miramax. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  20. ^ "CITY OF LIES - L'ORA DELLA VERITÀ. Film di chiusura fuori concorso".
  21. ^ "[Noir in Festival] Recensione di City of lies - L'ora della verità, con Johnny Depp". December 9, 2018. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  22. ^ "City of Lies - L'Ora Della Verità Blu-ray".

External links[edit]