Johnny Depp, who portrayed an FBI agent working undercover in the Mafia in “Donnie Brasco,” will play Boston mobster and FBI informant James “Whitey” Bulger in the upcoming film “Black Mass” with Barry Levinson (Bugsy) directing.
Deadline.com broke the news on Feb. 2.
The movie starts filming in May and is based on the bestseller "Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob,” by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill of the Boston Globe.
The story follows Bulger’s rise from the troubled streets of South Boston to his leadership of the ruthless Winter Hill Gang in the 1970’s, a time during which he doubled as an FBI informant.
Indicted for 19 murders, Bulger fled in 1994 and remained a fugitive until being captured in Santa Monica, Calif. in 2011.
“Black Mass” is the latest in a number of recent Bulger inspired projects to emerge including Martin Scorsese’s Oscar winner The Departed and Showtime's Brotherhood series. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are also collaborating on a separate Bulger biopic written by Terrance Winter (Boardwalk Empire).