Jamal Woolard courtesy Fox Searchlight Jamal Woolard courtesy Fox Searchlight

After a worldwide search, Fox Searchlight has announced that it has cast the role of Christopher Wallace (aka the Notorious B.I.G.) for a biopic about the slain rapper slated to hit theaters in January 2009. Brooklyn rapper Jamal Woolard (aka Gravy) has nabbed the starring role in Notorious.

Previously cast in the film, which is to be directed by George Tillman Jr. ( Men of Honor, Soul Food), are Angela Bassett as Voletta Wallace (Biggie's mom), Derek Luke ( Antwone Fisher) as Sean Combs, and Anthony Mackie ( We Are Marshall) as Tupac Shakur. Biggie's mom said it was Jamal's "charming personality, warm spirit, wonderful sense of humor and beautiful smile" that got him the job. Jeez, I hope he can act. - Mickey O'Connor (aka Irish Spring)

" Open Casting Call for Notorious B.I.G. Role