Johnny Depp rejoins Whitey Bulger movie Black Mass; Tom Hardy may co-star
After dropping out of the Barry Levinson version of BLACK MASS, Johnny Depp is now back on board, this time for director Scott Cooper. Cooper boarded the film last month. With Whitey Bulger in the news over the last year as he finally was convicted of his crimes, competing projects have been trying to get to the screen. Ben Affleck has a Terrence Winter-scripted version in development, but now we have the news that Depp is back on board with Cooper's version, based on the book BLACK MASS: THE TRUE STORY OF AN UNHOLY ALLIANCE BETWEEN THE FBI AND THE IRISH MOB.
Even as he was masterminding a violent gang – the federal case against him alleges 19 murders – Bulger was an FBI informant, a role he took on discreetly to take down a rival gang. But the tables were turned on him: 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.
Deadline also reports that Depp may be joined by Tom Hardy as his childhood friend and FBI agent John Connolly who is also serving prison time for aiding Bulger. The collaboration between these two actors brings to mind the way that Christian Bale and Depp appeared together in PUBLIC ENEMIES. Whereas Bale played a truly heroic character, Hardy's part would be a lot more ambiguous.
Cooper's latest film, OUT OF THE FURNACE, was quite good, so I can easily see him tackling BLACK MASS. The combination of Depp and Hardy on screen will also make for some intense back and forth. Here's hoping that this time, BLACK MASS gets further along in development.
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