Johnny Depp is going to be getting his gangster on as he’s signed on for Black Mass, where he’ll play Boston’s most notorious gangster, Whitey Bulger. The film is set to be directed by Academy Award winning director Barry Levinson (Rain Man).
The movie will be based on Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob, written by former Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill. However events have slightly overtaken the 2001 book, with writer Mark Mallouk’s screenplay taking into account that Bulger – who had been on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list for more than a decade – was captured in June 2011.
Produer Brian Oliver commented, “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. 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.”
Black Mass tells the true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf. However, after the Feds closed in on their targets, they double crossed Bulger and ultimately prosecuted him, along with his partner in crime and the original FBI agent working with him.
The film is being sold at the Berlin Film Festival, with a May 2013 start date.