Posted Aug. 10, 2007 – A casting call is out to find a professional or unknown talent to play the role of the Notorious B.I.G. for an upcoming biopic on the fallen rapper, Associated Press reports.
Producers will find the star of the film "Notorious" by auditioning those who resemble Christopher Wallace, B.I.G.'s born name. In the works for nearly seven years, Fox Searchlight bought the rights to the film in 2005 from Wallace's mother Vonetta Wallace, who is on tap to produce along with Wallace's two former managers, Wayne Barrow and Mark Pitts. George Tillman ("Soul Food") will be directing.
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"As it relates to the individual Christopher Wallace his looks, his stature, what he represented, the swagger, the sensibility of the man all those elements are very difficult to find, no matter where you go," Barrow said Thursday.
But at least one recent Oscar winner was up for consideration.
"In the typical Hollywood world, no one came to mind outside of Forest Whitaker who could capture that essence genuinely," Barrow said. But Whitaker's 46 years put him out of the running, since B.I.G. was gunned down at age 24 in 1997. "We thought it would be best to open it up to the world and ... give somebody the opportunity to step into his shoes and fulfill their own American dream."
Wallace says she wants to see Wallace's "swagger, his style, his energy and smile come through."
The script was written by Cheo Hodari Coker and Reggie Rock Bythewood. Coker, a hip-hop journalist, wrote the biography "Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G." The film intends to focus on "the humanity within Christopher himself," producers said. And don't expect to see Biggie's best pal, Diddy -- at least not the real-life mogul. Barrow said that no real-life character in Wallace's world will play himself, given the passage of time.
The producers hope to begin production this fall.