×

Tillman to direct B.I.G. film

Combs to exec produce Searchlight feature

George Tillman Jr. will direct a biopic of hip-hip artist Notorious B.I.G. for Fox Searchlight, while Sean “Diddy” Combs has boarded to exec produce.

Fox Searchlight, which picked up the rights to the project in 1995, commenced a nationwide casting call Sunday, with anyone resembling the slain rapper encouraged to submit a tape whether an actor or not.

Tillman, a longtime Notorious B.I.G. fan, will direct from a script by Cheo Hodari Coker and Reggie Rock Bythewood. Coker, a hip-hop journalist, penned the biography “Unbelievable: The Life, Death and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G.”

The hip-hop artist, also known as Biggie Smalls but whose real name was Christopher Wallace, was a major figure in the East Coast hip-hop scene before being killed in 1995 in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. His music was heavily influenced by his experience growing up on the streets of Brooklyn, where drugs and violence often dominated.

Combs signed Wallace in 1992 when working at Uptown Records. When Combs was fired shortly thereafter, Wallace followed him to his new label, Bad Boy Records.

Film will focus on the Wallace not seen in public life.

Producing the biopic are Wallace’s mother, Voletta Wallace, and former music managers Wayne Barrow and Mark Pitts, as well as Robert Teitel. Film project has been in the works for seven years.

Tillman’s last feature was “Men of Honor” in 2001. He also directed and wrote “Soul Food.”

Fox Searchlight prexy of production Claudia Lewis said the specialty unit has long wanted to work with Tillman.

“We know he will make a brilliant movie and show the true humanity of Christopher Wallace’s character,” Lewis said.

More Film

  • Stuber

    ‘Stuber’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Twentieth Century Fox claims the top spot in spending with “Stuber.” Ads placed for the comedy had an estimated media value of $4.91 million through Sunday for 1,325 national ad airings on 42 networks. [...]

  • BTS - J-Hope, V, Jungkook, Jimin,

    BTS' 'Bring the Soul: The Movie' Gets Global Theatrical Release

    BTS will be back on the big screen this summer. The Korean pop group announced today that their latest feature film, “Bring the Soul: The Movie,” will have a global release on August 7. It arrives just six and a half months after the septet’s last film release, “Love Yourself in Seoul.” “Bring the Soul” [...]

  • Box Office: 'Yesterday' Movie Takes on

    Box Office: 'Annabelle Comes Home' and 'Yesterday' Take on 'Toy Story 4'

    The weekend box office has gone to the dolls. “Annabelle Comes Home,” a supernatural horror film about a possessed toy, is facing off against another band of plastic figurines: “Toy Story 4.” Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” is expected to dominate box office charts again over newcomers “Annabelle Comes Home” and “Yesterday,” a fantasy musical set [...]

  • 'The Current War' Trailer: Benedict Cumberbatch,

    Benedict Cumberbatch and Nicholas Hoult Feud in 'The Current War' Trailer (Watch)

    101 Studios has released an official new trailer for the Martin Scorcese-produced thriller, “The Current War,”  offering a glimpse into the dramatic 19th century battle over electricity that became known as the “war of the currents.” The film, which is a dramatization of real-life events, will follow the tumultuous journey of Thomas Edison, played by [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    Oscars: 31 Upcoming Films That Could Enter the Awards Race

    The year reaches the halfway mark on June 30, and traditionally films from the first six months have an uphill battle in the Oscar race. However, this year’s January-June crop might get a boost from the accelerated schedule: Nominations voting is a tight Jan. 2-Jan. 7, 2020. So if voters start their homework now, early [...]

  • Yesterday Movie Danny Boyle

    Danny Boyle on 'Yesterday,' Leaving 'Bond 25' and Why the Beatles Still Rock

    Danny Boyle would like to reintroduce you to the Beatles. The iconic foursome certainly needs no introduction, but in his movie “Yesterday,” which debuts June 28, the director envisions a word where nobody has heard of John, Paul, George and Ringo. That is, nobody besides Jack Malik. When the struggling songwriter, portrayed by newcomer Himesh [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content