Universal chiefs deny Tom Petty and Tupac masters burned in fire

Universal Music Group chiefs have denied Tom Petty, Tupac Shakur, and Steve Earle’s master recordings burned in a 2008 fire on the Universal Studios backlot. Earle, Petty’s widow Jane and representatives for Shakur’s heirs are parties in a class-actio…

Universal Music Group chiefs have denied Tom Petty, Tupac Shakur, and Steve Earle’s master recordings burned in a 2008 fire on the Universal Studios backlot.

Earle, Petty’s widow Jane and representatives for Shakur’s heirs are parties in a class-action lawsuit demanding damages for losses from the fire, which reportedly resulted in the loss of work by artists including Eminem, Nirvana, John Coltrane, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Ella Fitzgerald, and Judy Garland.

However, according to Billboard magazine, Universal’s lawyers filed a declaration on Wednesday, stating an investigation had found that the trio’s masters were safe. With Courtney Love’s band Hole having withdrawn from the lawsuit based on assurances their masters were safe, Soundgarden is reportedly the only plaintiffs in the case whose masters remain unaccounted for – and an investigation into their whereabouts is ongoing.

Emails filed as part of the declaration claim the artists only lost secondary production tapes and video products, assets that are replaceable from alternate copies.

The plaintiffs were asking for a portion of the proceeds from a legal settlement and a reported insurance payment Universal received after the fire, plus half of whatever value they didn’t cover.

They filed the suit after an investigative report was published in the New York Times Magazine in June, alleging Universal chiefs played down losses from the fire publicly, but that legal and company documents put the losses far higher, stating 500,000 song titles could have been destroyed in the blaze. Universal bosses have denied misrepresenting their losses.

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Nipsey Hussle was first choice to portray Snoop Dogg in Tupac Shakur biopic

Nipsey Hussle turned down the opportunity to portray Snoop Dogg in Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me because he didn’t want to put his community work on hold. In a new interview, director Benny Boom has revealed that the rapper had been his first choi…

Nipsey Hussle turned down the opportunity to portray Snoop Dogg in Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me because he didn’t want to put his community work on hold.

In a new interview, director Benny Boom has revealed that the rapper had been his first choice to join the cast of his 2017 movie, which featured actor Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Shakur.

“Nipsey was supposed to play Snoop…,” Boom told Too Fab. “We wanted him to play Snoop in All Eyez On Me. We didn’t have any other person that we wanted to play him.”

However, taking on the gig would have meant Hussle spending several weeks on location in Atlanta, Georgia, instead of staying close to his Los Angeles home, where he was known for his philanthropy and local activism, so he declined the role.

“It’s crazy because I didn’t realise, as much as I knew Nipsey – I didn’t realise how much he was driving things in his community,” Boom explained. “And to take him out of L.A. for that amount of time that we needed to come to Atlanta where we shot, would’ve just threw him off his square (schedule) a little bit. Just the timing didn’t work out (sic).”

The part ended up going to actor Jarrett Ellis, but Hussle had been due to work with Shipp Jr. on another project, sports drama series All American.

Boom claimed he had introduced Hussle to producers on the show, who signed him up to portray a gang leader in Crenshaw, Los Angeles for the project’s upcoming second season.

Yet, Hussle didn’t get the opportunity to film his appearance prior to his murder on 31 March, when he was tragically gunned down outside his California clothing store.

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Johnny Depp’s Notorious B.I.G. movie pulled from U.S. release schedule

Johnny Depp’s City of Lies, a movie about the investigation into the death of The Notorious B.I.G., has been pulled from the U.S. release schedule.The film was set to hit cinemas on 7 September (18), but a spokesperson for distributor Global Road Enter…

Johnny Depp’s City of Lies, a movie about the investigation into the death of The Notorious B.I.G., has been pulled from the U.S. release schedule.

The film was set to hit cinemas on 7 September (18), but a spokesperson for distributor Global Road Entertainment told Variety on Monday that there is now no confirmed release date.

City of Lies is based on the 2002 book LAbyrinth by Randall Sullivan, which tells the story of the investigations into the deaths of rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls – who were both murdered in drive-by shootings in 1996 and 1997, respectively.

Under the direction of The Lincoln Lawyer filmmaker Brad Furman, Depp plays detective Russell Poole, while Forest Whitaker portrays journalist Jack Jackson, who probes Russell’s allegations that the officials at the Los Angeles Police Department were involved in a conspiracy related to the killing.

According to IMDb, City of Lies is still scheduled for release in the U.K. on 7 September.

Global Road Entertainment representatives have not explained the basis of their decision, but the news comes less than a month after the film’s location manager Gregg Brooks sued Depp, having accused the film star of committing assault and battery on set. Brooks is seeking damages over his allegations that he was subjected to a hostile work environment and wrongful termination.

The Alice in the Wonderland actor also recently settled a lawsuit with his former managers, who had accused him of spending money at an unsustainable rate.

Depp will hit cinemas in another film later this year, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, in which he reprises his role as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald from the previous instalment.

His casting was tainted by controversy on the back of allegations of domestic abuse during his divorce from ex-wife Amber Heard.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling defended the decision to cast Depp, while the 55-year-old denied the allegations. He and Heard later issued a joint statement in which they claimed “there was never any intent of physical or emotional” harm.

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