*USA Network has ordered a hip hop murder mystery pilot titled, “Unsolved,” a scripted true crime story that chronicles the two major police investigations into the sudden deaths of the rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. (born Christopher Wallace, and also known as Biggie Smalls).
“The People v. O.J. Simpson” director-producer Anthony Hemingway is behind the scripted series, which is based on the experiences of former LAPD Detective Greg Kading. THR notes that he is consulting on the pilot script and will also serve as co-executive producer. Kading led multiple task forces investigating the murders, and authored the book “Murder Rap: The Untold Story of Biggie Smalls & Tupac Shakur Murder Investigations.”
The chart-topping rappers also made headlines for their long-running rivalry before Pac was gunned down in Las Vegas in 1996. Smalls met a similar fate less than a year later, when he was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. Two decades later, both cases remain a mystery, though in the self-published “Murder Rap,” Kading claimed that he had evidence that Sean “Puffy” Combs and Suge Knight were to blame. He also alleged that the LAPD suppressed evidence, including taped confessions from hired hit men and removed him from the case just as he was about to solve it, per Rolling Stone.
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The Notorious BIG was the subject of the 2009 biopic “Notorious,” while Tupac’s life story will be told in the upcoming film “All Eyez on Me.” Nick Broomfield’s 2002 documentary “Biggie & Tupac” explored their deaths.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports that Open Road Films is planning “Labyrinth,” set to star Johnny Depp as the detective who investigated both murders and suggested that Suge Knight was a key player in the death of Biggie.
Kyle Long (“Suits”) is writing the “Unsolved” pilot and will also executive produce, while Kading will executive produce along with Mark Taylor via their Hemingway | Taylor production company.