Left: Tupac Shakur (Photo by: The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images); Right: Marcc Rose
USA Network unveiled casting plans for two pivotal roles in Unsolved, its pilot for a scripted true crime serial chronicling two major police investigations into the murders of rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls.
In the role of poet, actor, and legendary rapper Tupac Shakur is Marcc Rose, who also played the icon in F. Gary Gray's 2015 film Straight Outta Compton. Shakur was shot and killed in Las Vegas in 1996, and his murder still remains unsolved today.
Wavyy Jonez will make his acting debut as Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls, and was discovered during a nationwide open casting call with a video audition that captured the attention of casting directors and Unsolved's director, Emmy Award-winner Anthony Hemingway (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story). A rapper himself, Jonez released his first mixtape, entitled “R.E.D. D.O.P.E.” (Real Everyday Drama Doing Over People’s Expectation), which the show describes in a statement as "a metaphorical style reminiscent of New York artists of the 1990s."
Left: Christopher "Notorious B.I.G." Wallace (Photo by: Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage); Right: Wavyy Jonez
Six months after the murder of his one-time friend Shakur in 1996, Wallace was shot and killed in Los Angeles. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Wallace quickly went from honor student to small-time drug dealer to the face of East Coast rap; his murder in 1997 also remains unsolved today.
Previously announced cast includes Josh Duhamel (Battle Creek, Las Vegas), Jimmi Simpson (Westworld, House of Cards), and Bokeem Woodbine (Fargo, Southland), who will play LAPD detectives involved in two separate murder investigations in 1997 and 2006.
The screenplay for Unsolved is written by Kyle Long (Suits) and is based on the book Murder Rap by Greg Kading, the real-life LAPD who investigated the high-profile murders and who will be portrayed by Duhamel.
For more news about USA Network, including Unsolved updates, go here.