Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob is being made into a feature film with Johnny Depp attached to star as Whitey Bulger, the South Boston gangster who sat on the FBI's Most Wanted list for more than a decade. Depp's played a gangster before in 2009's Public Enemies, bringing the notorious John Dillinger to life opposite Christian Bale as FBI Agent Melvin Purvis.
Cross Creek Pictures and Exclusive Media are teaming up to finance and produce the dramatic story, with Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Man of the Year) on board to direct. Mark Mallouk did a "completely new screenplay adaptation of the book" after Bulger was finally captured in 2011. Filming's expected to begin as soon as this May.
The official synopsis: "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."
Cross Creek Pictures President Brian Oliver announced Depp's involvement and discussed why his company's so high on getting the book to the screen. "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," stated Oliver.
(Photo © Richard Chavez)