The Big Poppa is heading for the big screen as part of a joint effort by Notorious B.I.G.’s mother, P. Diddy and “Training Day” director Antoine Fuqua.
Unlike “Tupac: Resurrection,” Biggie’s still-untitled project will not be a documentary. Wayne Barrow, who still handles B.I.G.’s affairs and manages the late rapper’s mom, Voletta Wallace, said they’re in talks with several studios.
Puffy will aid the production creatively, and Barrow and partner Mark Pitts have recruited Cheo Hodari Coker, author of “Unbelievable: The Life, Death and Afterlife of the Notorious B.I.G.,” to write the screenplay. Barrow described the film as focusing on Biggie the man, son and father, including little-known tidbits, such as his knack for West Indian cooking. A finished script is expected by summertime.
In the meantime, the production team must find an actor worthy of filling Biggie’s Timberlands.
“It’s going to be challenging to cast a B.I.G.,” Barrow said. “We’ve thrown a few names around, like Big O [actor Waverly W. Alford II] from ’8 Mile.’ Maybe Anthony Anderson … because he has the humor. A few people said Guerilla Black, but we don’t know how that’s going to play out.”
Casting the roles of Lil’ Kim, Faith Evans, Junior M.A.F.I.A. and Puffy will depend upon the size of their roles in the finished script, Barrow said, and the artists may even be invited to play themselves, depending on their availability.
Barrow said the movie is on track to begin filming as early as February 2006.
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