Has Johnny Depp exited the Barry Levinson directed Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass?

Captain Jack Sparrow has abandoned ship! It looks like star Johnny Depp has exited the Barry Levinson directed Whitey Bulger gangster biopic due to budget issues. Depp was set to receive his usual $20 million payday, but when sales for the film didn't drum up much interest at Cannes, the $60-million-budgeted pic was looking to trim some fat, which started at Depp's salary. Apparently, Depp was asked to cut his salary in half to a paltry $10 million, but refused, instead exiting the film.

Joel Edgerton recently joined the film as FBI agent John Connolly and producers will begin pursuing another actor to fill Depp's shoes, hopefully in time to keep the momentum going. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have been pursuing their own Whitey Bulger biopic for years, so perhaps this will give them the opportunity to get the jump on Levinson's film.

Here's the rundown on BLACK MASS:

John Connolly and James "Whitey" Bulger grew up together on the streets of South Boston. Decades later, in the late 1970s, they would meet again. By then, Connolly was a major figure in the FBI's Boston office and Whitey had become godfather of the Irish Mob. What happened between them - a dirty deal to trade secrets and take down Boston's Italian Mafia in the process - would spiral out of control, leading to murders, drug dealing, racketeering indictments, and, ultimately, to Bulger making the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List.

BLACK MASS is scheduled for release sometime in 2014. Depp will next be seen in THE LONE RANGER, out July 3, 2013, with Wally Pfister's TRANSCENDENCE to follow on April 18, 2014, and the recently announced 5th Pirates of the Caribbean film slated for July 10, 2015.

Extra Tidbit: All right, folks, you know the drill. Let's recast Depp. Hit us with your suggestions below!



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