Notorious is an 2009 biographical film about the life of hip hop star The Notorious B.I.G. / Biggie Smalls, who is played by newcoming rapper Jamal Woolard. It will also feature Angela Bassett as his mother Voletta Wallace, Derek Luke as Biggie's manager Sean Combs, and Anthony Mackie as rap rival Tupac Shakur. Other roles include Naturi Naughton as Lil' KimAntonique Smith as wife Faith Evans. and
The film is currently in post-production and it will hit theaters on January 16, 2009. A teaser trailer was released in late September 2008. An exclusive trailer was played during the BET Hip Hop Awards showing more of what Biggie does and more of Tupac's part.
The film has been rated R by the MPAA for pervasive language, some strong sexuality including dialogue, nudity, and for drug content.
Antoine Fuqua was originally set to direct before director George Tillman, Jr. signed on to helm the project. The film is being distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures. Producers on Notorious include Sean Combs, Voletta Wallace and Biggie's former managers Wayne Barrow and Mark Pitts.
In early October 2007 open casting calls for the role of The Notorious B.I.G. began. Actors, rappers and unknowns all tried out. Rapper Beanie Sigel auditioned for the role but was not picked. Eventually it was announced that rapper Jamal "Gravy" Woolard was cast as Biggie.Angela Bassett as Voletta Wallace, Derek Luke as Sean Combs, Anwan Glover as Snoop Dogg, Antonique Smith as Faith Evans, Naturi Naughton formerly of 3LW as Lil' Kim, Edwin Freeman as Mister Cee and Anthony Mackie as Tupac Shakur.
A soundtrack was released on January 13, 2009, and features three unheard songs by Biggie from his demo tape, including a duet with his son CJ.The film received some positive reviews from film critics upon release. Rotten Tomatoes