After a much publicized open casting call last fall, The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Fox Searchlight Studios have chosen to cast Jamal Woolard in the role of Biggie Smalls in the upcoming biopic, Notorious. Woolard is more widely known as Gravy, the rapper who, two years ago, was banned from New York hip-hop station HOT97 after getting shot outside the studio as he was making his way to appear on the Funkmaster Flex show.

Voletta Wallace, Biggie's mother, told the Hollywood Reporter, "Jamal's charming personality, warm spirit, wonderful sense of humor and beautiful smile" were reasons she chose him to play the role of her son. "He is a talented, and charismatic actor, and I am excited that he will bring Christopher's character to life," she said.

Wallace is also going to be portrayed in the biopic; her, by actress Angela Bassett. Actor Derek Luke will portray Biggie's producer, Diddy, and Anthony Mackie will portray Biggie's West Coast hip-hop rival, Tupac Shakur. Filming begins in New York this month. The movie is slated to be released in January, 2009. [Click here for the The Hollywood Reporter's entire story]