Johnny Depp Exits Whitey Bulger Biopic Over Salary Dispute

FILM: Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp (UTA, Bloom Hergott) is in talks to star in Alcon's "Transcendence," to be directed by Inception cinematographer Wally Pfister.

After the project for director Barry Levinson sold softly at Cannes, the star was asked to cut his fee.

Johnny Depp has fallen out of Black Mass, Cross Creek and Exclusive Media's biopic of Boston gangster Whitey Bulger for director Barry Levinson, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

Depp was to have been paid his usual quote of $20 million, according to sources, but with sales of the project at Cannes on the soft side, producers were looking to trim the budget, in the high $60 million range. Depp was asked to take half, according to sources, and the actor and his reps at UTA refused. The situation came to a crux Wednesday.

A producer source disputes the softness of the sales, saying the sales were on target and that most territories were sold.

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The movie was to have been Depp's follow-up to Transcendence, the sci-fi Alcon project he is currently shooting.

Though Cross Creek and Exclusive hope to salvage Black Mass by hiring another actor, it is unclear how Depp's exit will affect the involvement of Joel Edgerton, who recently became attached to play a disgraced FBI agent.

UTA had no comment. 

Depp will next be seen in The Lone Ranger, opening July 3 in North America. 

Kim Masters contributed to this report.