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When Was Jamal Woolard Cast As Notorious B.I.G.?

Jamal WoolardCourtesy of Fox Searchlight

Remember that huge open casting call last October to find the star of Notorious, the upcoming Fox Searchlight Notorious B.I.G. biopic? The one reported on in such illustrious media outlets as the New York Times and Vulture? In this morning’s Times, director George Tillman admits that Jamal Woolard, the actor who eventually won the part — and was not part of the casting call — was “under consideration” for the role in November and “quietly being groomed” before he was officially picked (“We set up a boot camp for three months just for him,” says Tillman). Like Nah Right pointed out recently, though, Woolard was actually rumored to playing Biggie as far back as two years ago. In May of 2006, he told MTV News he’d “talked to the Wallace family” and “was a virtual lock for the role.” Does this mean the casting call was just a publicity stunt? It sure looks like it!

Also, in slightly more encouraging news, the Times say the script (originally penned by journalist Cheo Hodari Coker), which we reviewed last month, is still undergoing revisions by screenwriter Reggie Rock Bythewood. We weren’t in love with his earlier draft, so here’s hoping the next one will be better!

Film Skirts Loose Ends in Death of a Rapper [NYT]

Earlier: The Role of Notorious B.I.G. to Be Played by That Guy Who Got Shot in the Ass
We’ve Read the Screenplay for the Notorious B.I.G. Biopic
Vulture Helps Cast the Notorious B.I.G. Biopic

When Was Jamal Woolard Cast As Notorious B.I.G.?