By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Days before Sundance, QD3 producer Josh Krause had screened the film for Wayne aboard his smoke-filled tour bus in Hollywood, later reporting that the MC loved it—that he was laughing and singing along with himself onscreen. More recently, a rapper with ties to Young Money revealed that Wayne has been watching The Carter constantly on his bus, even burning copies for friends.
When I ask Lil Wayne's L.A.-based attorney, Ron Sweeney, whether there's anything to these rumors, he replies, "If what you're hearing is true, there would be no lawsuit." So was it fair to say that Wayne objected to the way he was depicted in the film? "My standard answer to that is, 'No comment.' "
In April, a California Superior Court Judge dismissed Young Money's request for a preliminary injunction, freeing QD3 to seek distribution. Last month, a disclaimer was added after the opening credits, calling Wayne a "true American artist" while regretfully indicating that he has withdrawn his support. Wayne's guilty plea on October 22 to attempted criminal possession of a weapon—for which he is expected to be sentenced in February and serve at least eight months—has not affected the film's release.
"The last time I talked to Wayne was on the last day of shooting," Bhala Lough recalls. "He was amazing to work with. He's got a really big heart. It was probably the most positive filmmaking experience of my life." He pauses. "I wish I could just ask him what happened."