Marcc Rose (Straight Outta Compton) and newcomer Wavyy Jonez have been tapped to play Tupac and Notorious B.I.G., respectively, in Unsolved, USA’s scripted drama pilot that follows the major police investigations into the murders of the iconic rappers.
Rose will play Tupac Shakur. A poet, actor and legendary rapper, Shakur was as brilliant as he was self-destructive. Shot and killed in Las Vegas in 1996, his murder still remains unsolved today.
In his first acting role, Jonez is set to portray Christopher Wallace, AKA Biggie Smalls. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Wallace quickly went from honor student to small-time drug dealer to the face of East Coast rap. The “Mo Money Mo Problems” rapper was shot and killed in Los Angeles, just six months after Shakur. His murder also remains a mystery.
Unsolved is based on the experiences of former LAPD Detective Greg Kading, who led multiple law-enforcement task forces investigating the murders and wrote the book Murder Rap: The Untold Story of Biggie Smalls & Tupac Shakur Murder Investigations. Rose and Jonez join previously announced cast Josh Duhamel as Detective Kading, Jimmi Simpson as Detective Russell Poole and Bokeem Woodbine as Officer Daryn Dupree.
From Universal Cable Productions (UCP), Unsolved will be directed by Emmy winner Anthony Hemingway (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story), who will also executive produce alongside Mark Taylor through their Hemingway | Taylor production company. Kyle Long (Suits) is writing the pilot and will also executive produce. Kading is consulting on the pilot script and will also serve as co-executive producer.
Rose made his acting debut as Tupac in Universal’s Straight Outta Compton, directed by F. Gary Gray. The 24-year-old, who hails from Brooklyn, NY, is repped by ICM Partners.
Jonez’s video audition captured the attention of casting directors and Hemingway during a nationwide open casting call to fill the role of Biggie. A rapper with a metaphorical style reminiscent of New York artists of the 1990s, Jonez has released a mixtape, R.E.D. D.O.P.E. (Real Everyday Drama Doing Over People’s Expectation). Jonez is repped by Yasmine Pearl at First Access Entertainment.