Johnny Depp will play the notorious gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger in an upcoming film titled ‘Black Mass’.
Adapted from a book by two Boston Globe journalists the film will also be directed by Barry Levinson, a man who has brought us classics such as ‘Sleepers’, ‘Rain Man’ and ‘Toys’.
Shooting is to begin in May this year and producer Brian Oliver commented to collider.com saying; ““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.”
Whitey Bulger was heavily involved in Boston’s organised crime scene during the 70′s and 80′s but was depicted as a “Robin Hood” styled criminal to many of the locals. He allegedly masterminded a protection racket which targeted drug dealers and illegal gambling operations.
The FBI ignored many of these operations when he became an informant in 1975, which the media later exposed and greatly embarrassed the governmental agency. Bulger was tipped off then went into hiding for over a decade, remaining on the FBI’s most wanted list for twelve years. He was eventually found and arrested at the age of 81 and is currently still awaiting trial.
Sounds like a solid story and hopefully this will be Depp’s stepping away from his latest Disney roles and into some more serious shoes. His next release will be as Tonto in Gore Verbinski‘s ‘The Lone Ranger’ coming out in August 2013 (UK release date).