Jim Sheridan Developing Project About FBI Informant Whitey Bulger
by Alex Billington
January 14, 2009
After tackling rough Irish-themed true-life subjects in In the Name of the Father and The Boxer, writer, director and producer Jim Sheridan will next focus on the notorious Boston mobster and FBI informant Whitey Bulger. Sheridan is adapting a novel called "Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob", written by Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill. The film will focus on Bulger who built up the Winter Hill Gang into a mob that did everything from sell drugs to procure guns for the Irish Republican Army out of Boston.
Apparently Bulger was raised by John Connolly, a childhood pal who became an FBI agent. Bulger then disappeared 14 years ago, causing a huge law enforcement scandal. "This is a story of a corrupt system and about how an angry guy became the second most wanted man after Bin Laden," Sheridan told Variety. Black Mass was first optioned by Miramax for Matt Damon and Ben Affleck but didn't go anywhere. Then producer Brian Oliver picked it up again in 2006 but couldn't get it made because The Departed, which was much too similar, became a hit itself. Sheridan is writing the script with his partner Nye Heron.