Why Johnny Depp’s City of Lies took so long to come out

Johnny Depp’s latest film, the reality-based crime drama City of Lies, finally debuted after years on the shelf.

Johnny Depp’s latest film, reality-based crime drama City of lies, has finally been released after years of being finished on the shelf. Based on the non-fiction book Labyrinth by author Randall Sullivan, City of lies looks at the still-unsolved 1997 murders of rap greats Tupac Shakur and The Notorious BIG, and more specifically the police investigation into their deaths. Depp plays Russell Poole, an LAPD detective who investigated the murder of the Notorious BIG. According to Poole, he found credible evidence linking an LAPD officer to the murder, but the then police chief closed it down.

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As with most movies that are said to be based on a true story, City of lies dramatizes real events, including the invention of characters like journalist Jack Jackson (Forest Whitaker), who is actually a fictional version of Sullivan himself. Still, while City of lies clearly has an intentional point of view that is trying to push the case forward, that doesn’t mean it can’t or can’t be an entertaining movie.

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Despite filming being completed in May 2017, City of lies I only recently got some kind of general theatrical release, on March 19, 2021, which was expanded to VOD on April 9. With tracks of the caliber of Depp and Whitaker, and juicy real-life source material to work with, it seems really strange that City of lies It has been shelved for so long. Here’s why that ended up happening.

Why Johnny Depp’s City of Lies took four years to publish

Johnny Depp as Russell Poole in City of Lies

As with many delays in Hollywood, neither the current distributor Saban Films nor any of the previous companies involved with City of lies They have revealed the official reasoning for their multiple delays, but there are some very likely culprits available. City of lies It was originally planned for a release date of September 7, 2018, only to be pulled from the release schedule about a month before that. This happened around the same time as Johnny Depp personally, City of lies director Brad Furman, and several producers were sued by location manager Gregg “Rocky” Brooks, who claimed that an angry Depp had physically attacked him on set, and that he was subsequently fired after refusing to agree not to file a lawsuit for the alleged incident.

It’s worth noting that several other crew members present at the time later said that while Brooks and Depp had a verbal confrontation, there was no physical aspect involved, and the shooting resumed afterward. There’s also the possible factor in Depp’s messy divorce from Amber Heard, in which he was accused of domestic abuse. The consequences of this divorce were still very much in the public eye at the time. City of lies was delayed for the first time, and also eventually played a role in his withdrawal as Grindelwald from the Fantastic Animals franchise.

Beyond Depp’s legal troubles, another interesting possibility was also raised around the time when City of lies was removed from the schedule. TO Daily beast The report, which included parts of interviews with Furman and Randall Sullivan, claimed that the LAPD had actively tried to prevent the film from being released, as it painted them and their Notorious BIG investigation in a negative light, and also contained new information that could justify reopening BIG’s mother Violetta Wallace’s wrongful death lawsuit against the LAPD that had previously been dismissed without prejudice. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see if City of lies finally being released ends up changing something on that front.

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