Johnny Depp Gangster Biopic ‘Black Mass’ Picked up By WB for 2015 Release

Published 9 months ago by

johnny depp black mass release date Johnny Depp Gangster Biopic Black Mass Picked up By WB for 2015 Release

Twice in the past five years Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson has attempted to make a film about a real-life gangster – Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father and then Black Mass – and on each separate occasion the respective project has hit a roadblock, only to begin moving forward again, with a new director. The latter crime/biopic is now progressing at a pace to reach the finish line (read: hit theaters) next year.

Black Mass is about Whitey Bulger, the infamous Boston crime boss who spent decades eliminating the competition by ratting them out to the FBI – in part through his childhood friend-turned federal agent John Connolly – before he went on the lam (thanks to a tipoff from Connolly) for ten years and was finally caught in 2011. Johnny Depp is set to realize Bulger’s larger-than-life personality on the big screen, after having dropped out for a while due to salary issues.

Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. has signed on to co-finance Black Mass with Cross Creek Pictures, in addition to handling the film’s worldwide release. Production on Black Mass is set to begin on location in Boston in about two months, so that Depp can fit the movie into his work schedule before he plays dress-up in two Disney blockbuster sequels – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Alice in Wonderland 2 – that are scheduled and/or expected to reach theaters by Summer 2016.

Meanwhile, WB is currently eying Black Mass for an as-yet nonspecific October 2015 theatrical release date. However, although last we heard Deadline‘s sources had learned that Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) was being eyed to play Connolly in the film (Hardy is appearing on the TV series Peaky Binders instead), it now appears that Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby) – who was reported to have nearly closed a deal to play Connolly around a year ago – is firmly back in place as Depp’s costar.

joel edgerton black mass 570x294 Johnny Depp Gangster Biopic Black Mass Picked up By WB for 2015 Release

Scott Cooper – after stepping away from the gestating movie adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand - recently assumed the helm on Black Mass, which has a script in place by Mark Mallouk (executive producer on Rush), based on the 2001 book Black Mass: The True Story Of An Unholy Alliance Between The FBI and The Irish Mob – though, with a heavily-revised third-act, to include Bulger’s capture. Cooper’s sophomore feature Out of the Furnace last year failed to please critics as much as his debut Crazy Heart, but no doubt he’ll be swinging for the fences again on this one.

Indeed, high-minded star-powered fare like Black Mass generally perform well at the Fall box office (see: historical drama/thriller Argo), as part of the awards-seaon lineup that serves as counter-programming to the season’s genre offerings – which, in October next year, will include Disney’s live-action The Jungle Book, Guillermo del Toro’s haunted house feature Crimson Peak and the supernatural/horror sequel The Conjuring 2; with Depp in the lead, Black Mass is well-positioned to do right by itself.

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We’ll keep you updated on Black Mass‘s status as more information is made available.

Source: Deadline

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  1. I hope this actually does get made. It’s a story that deserves to be told.

  2. So basically, it was gonna be Tom Hardy until he decided to pass on the project to film season 2 of Peaky Blinders in the UK alongside Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory and Sam Neill during the same time Black Mass will be filming.

    Can’t say I’m interested in Whitey Bulger having not heard of him until his arrest a few years back but I’ll give it a watch eventually, unless circumstances delay the project again.

  3. Can’t wait for Depp to get his 4th Oscar nomination for this.

  4. Johnny Depp is the perfect choice!Can’t wait to see that!!!

  5. Can’t waite for this movie! I love gangster movies, telling true stories at that.
    I only got one thing I really didn’t like that how it says, “so that Depp can fit the movie into his work schedule before he plays dress-up in two Disney blockbuster sequels – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Alice in Wonderland 2 –” I don’t know why I’m really not liking that “dress-up” comment, I don’t maybe it’s just me.
    But…
    other than that I can’t waite for this movie hopefully there’s no more delays or nothing.