Newcomer Jamal Woolard to Play Notorious B.I.G.

Jamal Woolard from NotoriousFox Searchlight announced their plans today to start principle photography for Notorious, a film set to bring the life of Christopher Wallace – aka The Notorious B.I.G. – to the big screen. Shooting will begin March 24th, 2008 in New York City.

The film stars Oscar nominated actress Angela Bassett as Biggie’s mother Voletta Wallace, Derek Luke as Sean “Diddy” Combs, Anthony Mackie as Tupac Shakur, and introduces newcomer Jamal Woolard as the notorious, rap icon.

We know Derek Luke best as Boobie Miles from Friday Night Lights and Anthony Mackie as Nate from We Are Marshall. However, Woolard is a completely fresh face, a native of Brooklyn tapped to play Biggie because of what the real Voletta Wallace called his “charming personality, warm spirit, wonderful sense of humor and beautiful smile”.

From the press release:

“In just a few short years, The Notorious B.I.G. rose from the streets of Brooklyn to become one of the most influential hip hop artists of all time. B.I.G. was a gifted storyteller, his narratives about violent life on the streets were told with a gritty, objective realism that won him enormous respect and credibility. His stories were universal and gave a voice to his generation.”

This film is poised to have an incredible amount of heart. With Voletta Wallace so involved in the process of creating the narrative of her son’s life; with close friend Sean “Diddy” Combs executive producing; with the directing talent of George Tillman, Jr (Soul Food, Men of Honor) – it has a shot at being an incredibly compelling and moving story.

Notorious is set for release on January 16, 2009. Until then, keep checking FSR as we follow this production’s progress. We’ll be watching this one with a close eye, Reject Nation.

Sound Off: What do you think of newcomer Jamal Woolard (pictured to the right) as Biggie?de

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

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