While Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, and Matt Damon are still developing their own film on infamous Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, it looks like another one is going to beat them to the punch. What's more, considering who will be taking on the Bulger role, it's guaranteed to be high-profile and may put the kibosh on any other flicks looking to tackle the same subject. Cross Creek Pictures has announced that Johnny Depp will be playing Bulger in Black Mass, a new biopic from Academy Award-winning director Barry Levinson.
This looks to be Depp's first film post-The Lone Ranger, as the only thing he's seriously committed to right now is Pirates of the Caribbean 5. Black Mass is based on Dick Lehr's 2001 book, Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob. The story will follow Bulger's lengthy criminal career stretching back to the 1950s, also depicting the corrupt Boston underbelly involving the FBI and its ties to his illegal activities. Bulger was finally captured in 2011 at the age of 81, and screenwriter Mark Mallouk totally reworked the script to reflect it.
Depp has shown a certain propensity for mobster flicks like this, starring in Donnie Brasco and Public Enemies, so it's good to see him getting back into it and away from the cartoonish characters he's become famous for. Filming on Black Mass begins in May.