City of Lies, a biographical crime thriller starring Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker, has been taken off of distributor Global Road's release schedule without any explanation whatsoever. The movie was slated to release early next month, but it now looks as though it has been delayed indefinitely.
No one connected to the project has given any reason for City of Lies being taken off of the slate, and there has been no clarification as to when we will get to see this movie released on the big screen. Shortly after the movie was abruptly removed from Global Road's release schedule, the distribution company verified that it was not a mistake and that the Johnny Depp-led thriller will not be releasing as scheduled. The movie delves into the investigation behind the murders of Tupac and Biggie Smalls. There could be some problems arising from the subject matter of the movie. Here is the official synopsis so you have a better idea what Global Road is dealing with in terms of this controversial story.
"Los Angeles Police Department detective Russell Poole has spent years trying to solve his biggest case, the murders of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, but after two decades, the investigation remains open. Jack Jackson, a reporter desperate to save his reputation and career, is determined to find out why. In search of the truth, the two team up and unravel a growing web of institutional corruption and lies."
The second best guess as to why City of Lies has been removed from the schedule is due to the controversy surrounding the movie regarding its star Johnny Depp. Over the past few years, Depp has regularly made headlines with one new controversy after another, following the rocky divorce between himself and Amber Heard that ended with a number of sexual assault allegations against him. The most recent report against Depp surfaced last month after he allegedly assaulted a location manager on the set of City of Lies, which came up only a couple months after Depp's own bodyguards accused him of abusing his power against them and forced them to transport illegal substances.
More than likely, Global Road is simply delaying the release of City of Lies until all of this noise blows over. At this point, Johnny Depp has become an incredibly risky actor to cast simply due to the controversy that regularly surrounds him. Even the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise is suffering quite a bit, with many people boycotting the spin-off series simply due to Depp's involvement. While a movie starring Johnny Depp will still make quite a bit of money, City of Lies will surely make a bit more if Global Road waits until we can go at least a few months without having a Johnny Depp controversy surface.
There's also the possibility that City of Lies may follow in the footsteps of All The Money In The World with Kevin Spacey and reshoot all of Johnny Depp's scenes with a different actor. However, the most recent controversy surrounding Johnny Depp is nothing compared to Kevin Spacey's allegations, so that probably isn't actually Global Road's intentions. Plus the fact that they'd have to reshoot most of the movie. Despite this, it would still be an interesting route for them to take.
Hopefully more of this mystery clears up in the next few weeks. Perhaps the reason for the movie's delay is simply due to it needing reshoots or more time for editing. However, if it was really that simple, why would Global Road not simply explain it in their report to Entertainment Weekly? Hopefully it won't be too long of a wait before we see City of Lies, as it will be great to see the investigation of the murder of Tupac and Notorious BIG told on the big screen. Maybe you can't watch the movie, but you can still watch the trailer.