is a fugitive on the run as he's signed on to play notorious real-life gangster Whitey Bulger in Black Mass. According to Deadline, Academy Award-winning director will helm the movie, which is scheduled to start production in May.
The script is based on the best-selling book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob by Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerald O'Neill. It tells the true story of Boston-based criminal Whitey Bulger, who was the former leader of the Winter Hill Gang before becoming an FBI informant. This arrangement turned sour and so Bulger went on the run, spending 16 years avoiding capture and 12 of those on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list. He was finally caught in Santa Monica, California, on June 22, 2011 and was charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, narcotics distribution, and money-laundering.
This won't be Depp's first foray into the criminal underworld. He played an undercover FBI agent in the excellent Donnie Brasco, cocaine king George Jung in Blow, and probably the most famous gangster of all time, John Dillinger, in Public Enemies. Add in the high quality source material and Levinson's directorial experience, and I think that Black Mass could be worthy addition to the mob movie canon.
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Black Mass is slated to arrive in theaters sometime in 2014.
Is Johnny Depp the right man to play Whitey Bulger? Let me know what you think in the comments below.