Hot independent film studio Miramax released a trailer for its latest picture on Monday, and it looks like the company behind hits like Mighty Aphrodite and Albino Alligator is still bringing the award season heat … with the help of superstar Johnny Depp! Depp’s work in Dead Man, Chocolat, and Finding Neverland brought awards, critical acclaim, and box office dollars to the little indie studio that could, so this is a long-overdue homecoming for the teen-idol-turned-acclaimed-actor. Depp will play Russell Poole, the real-life LAPD detective who investigated the murder of the Notorious B.I.G., in this adaptation of Randall Sullivan’s book LAbyrinth: A Detective Investigates the Murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., the Implication of Death Row Records’ Suge Knight, and the Origins of the Los Angeles Police Scandal from director Brad Furman and screenwriter Christian Contreras. Forest Whitaker co-stars, making this the first film he’s worked with Depp on since 1986’s Platoon—a film that earned eight Academy Award nominations despite not benefiting from Miramax’s legendary promotional machine.
Can Depp and Miramax recapture the Oscar magic? Maybe, but a lot has changed at the beloved film studio since Depp last worked there. Harvey Weinstein, responsible for so much of the studio’s awards season reputation, left in 2005; the studio was purchased from Disney by a group of investors in 2010 who sold it to the Qatar-based beIN Media Group in 2016. And City of Lies is a co-production, not a pure Miramax creation; it will be distributed by Global Road Entertainment. Still, there’s nothing like the feeling of seeing that familiar Miramax logo at the beginning of a trailer—unless it’s seeing Johnny Depp in the cast list! Now to take a big sip of hot Chocolat and take a glance at the news.