It appears that getting the real-life story of a famous Boston criminal mastermind onto the big screen quickly, just got a big boost from Johnny Depp. According to THR, Depp has agreed to star as Whitey Bulger in Barry Levinson's biopic, Black Mass. This is somewhat of a coup for Levinson because all previous news on Depp’s next role was pointing towards Wally Pfister’s Transcendence. With principal filming to begin on Black Mass as early as May, it could either delay Transcendence’s production or result in a re-cast.
If Depp’s part in Transcedence needs to be re-cast it would serve a blow to Pfister’s hopes of having his first feature film directing gig to big huge. How do you go about replacing one of the most famous actors alive? As for Levinson, he is already considered one of the finest helmers in the business and this story is already so well-known it stands to chance that it already smells like Oscar material.
When Martin Scorsese gave us The Departed , many people attributed Jack Nicholson’s Frank Costello character as being “inspired” by the legend of Whitey Bulger. Now we’ll get to see just how evil the real Bulger was. Too bad my old friend Raymond Dunn is no longer with us or else he could have served as the film’s ‘fact checker”.