Johnny Depp to Star as Gangster Whitey Bulger

8:01 PM PST 02/02/2013 by Pamela McClintock
Johnny Depp

The actor would play the notorious Boston criminal in the Barry Levinson-directed pic.

Johnny Depp is attached to star in Barry Levinson's gangster thriller Black Mass, which recounts the real-life story of South Boston criminal mastermind Whitey Bulger.

The project, set to shoot in May, puts into question Transcendence, which was to be Depp's next film. That project, a sci-fi thriller to be directed by Inception cinematographer Wally Pfister, is awaiting a rewrite.

Cross Creek and Exclusive Media are co-producing and co-financing Black Mass, which will be shopped to foreign buyers this month at the European Film Market in Berlin. Universal will distribute the film in North America.

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Cross Creek has optioned the rights to New York Times best-seller Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob, written by Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerland O'Neil. Mark Mallouk wrote an updated adaptation of the book following the June 2011 capture in Santa Monica of Bulger, who had been on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list for more than a decade.

Bulger is considered to be the most infamous criminal in the history of South Boston. He became an FBI informant in order to take down a rival Mafia family, only to be double-crossed by the government and prosecuted.

Depp is represented by UTA.

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