Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger? So true, according to a Feb. 2 report in Deadline. The former pirate will play Bulger in the Barry Levinson-directed crime thriller, “Black Mass,” adapted by Mark Mallouk, and based on Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill’s New York Times bestseller book, “Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob.”
While Mallouk’s story has been in the works for quite a while, the movie reportedly scored new life after Bulger was finally captured in California in 2011. Prior to his capture, he spent a decade on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. Bulger takes his place in mob history as one of the most ruthless mobsters. His notoriety has spurred movie characters from Jack Nicholson’s character in “The Departed” to Pete Postlethwaite’s character in “The Town.”
The movie will be produced by Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson, John Lesher, and Christi Dembrowski, Depp’s partner in Infinitum Nihil. Everyone on board seems excited about working with the talented and versatile Depp. “I could not be more thrilled to have the biggest star in the world and Academy Award winning director Barry Levinson to finally bring this incredible story to the big screen,” said Oliver.
“We have been working on this project since we originally optioned the book in 2005. Black Mass expertly details the twists and turns of this highly complex story, painting a vivid portrait of Boston’s underbelly and its corrupt political machine, as well as exposing the worst scandal in FBI history. It’s also an examination of loyalty to family, Irish heritage, and South Boston.”
Production on the movie starts in May.
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