There is some breaking news tonight in terms of the many Whitey Bulger properties currently in development. Barry Levinson seems to have the leg up on everybody as Johnny Depp has just been attached to lead his version entitled Black Mass. The film is based on a decade-old book subtitled The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob from Dick Lehr/Gerald O’Neill, but Hollywood has been waiting for the man’s story to conclude before hitting the big screen with a full-on biopic.
Obviously, any comparisons to be made will be between this and Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winner The Departed, a film largely inspired by Bulger. While it was far from a true-story take on the mob boss-turned-FBI informant, it was done so brilliantly that the bar has been set incredibly high. Nonetheless it is happening, so we expect to hear a ‘live or die’ status on the Ben Affleck-Matt Damon adaptation of this story in the near future. Odds are the duo will be passing now as Deadline suggests that this pick from Cross Creek will easily be ready for theaters first.
Johnny Depp is expected to start filming Pirates of the Caribbean shortly; however, release for that is not for another two years so there is definitely time in Tonto’s schedule to return to the crime genre. In terms of mob dramas, the actor most recently portrayed John Dillinger in Public Enemies.