Kiki Pinkney on: Today in Stunt Casting: The Notorious B.I.G. Movie
By S.T. VanAirsdale
Perhaps on the basis of Great Neck, N.Y., discovery Nikki Blonsky's recent non-pro breakthrough in Hairspray, or perhaps on the basis of a culture that recycles and distills pop iconography to saturation levels of kitsch, or perhaps because all of the obese African-American leading men in mainstream cinema are portrayed by Eddie Murphy, Fox Searchlight has launched a national casting call for the unknown novice who will portray the influential hip-hop legend Christopher Wallace a k a Biggie Smalls a k a Notorious B.I.G. in the forthcoming biopic, Notorious.
The flier at right came over the transom a while back; you know the story, which I suppose only makes it proper for widescreen mythologizing: Wallace, a 300+ pound Brooklyn native whose shooting death in 1997 was believed to be retribution for the shooting death of Tupac Shakur in 1996 (Wallace denied any involvement), was a drug dealer-turned-Bad Boy Records star in the mid-'90s, husband of singer Faith Evans, rumored lover of Li'l Kim and cash machine from the afterlife. Bad Boy kingpin Sean Combs is producing the new film with Barbershop director George Tillman Jr. behind the camera; Cheo Hodari Coker and Reggie Rock Bythewood are writing the screenplay from Coker's book, Unbelievable: The Life, Death and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G. This will not be the Nick Broomfield treatment from five years ago, notes Variety's Pamela McClintock:
Film will focus on the Wallace not seen in public life. ... 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.
Now they just have to cast it. And per the note received here at Reeler HQ, Searchlight has borrowed the American Idol cheerleader outfits from Fox's wardrobe department off Pico Boulevard:
Can you LOOK SOUND ACT like him?
Can you make us BELIEVE? ...
Starting at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, August 13th, visit www.biggiecasting.com for more details and to upload your audition video.
I will keep an eye on this, as should you, if only to make sure Fox casting compensates for stealing the title of the greatest film ever made. Best of luck to those trying out.
Posted at August 14, 2007 12:04 PM
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