Johnny Depp Officially Back for 'Black Mass' This Time with Tom Hardy
by Ethan Anderton
February 7, 2014
Just last month we learned Crazy Heart and Out of the Furnace director Scott Cooper was in talks to take over Universal's gangster film Black Mass, the story of Boston crime kingpin Whitey Bulger. Previously, Johnny Depp and director Barry Levinson were going to bring the project to the big screen, but they both fell away from the project. But when Cooper got involved with the film, Depp circled back to the project and Deadline has confirmed that he's closed a deal to lead the film. But this time, instead of Joel Edgerton taking the pivotal supporting role of John Connolly, the FBI agent and childhood pal of Bulger, a different name has emerged. Read on!
Right now Tom Hardy is in early talks to play the FBI agent who now sits in prison for tipping Bulger that he was about to be indicted, helping him elude the law for longer than he otherwise might have. It was this evasion that led Bulger to just being a big Boston crime kingpin to being at the top of the FBI’s most wanted list. Bulger originally became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf. However, after the Feds closed in on their targets, they double crossed Bulger and ultimately prosecuted him, along with his partner in crime.
A mobster drama with Depp and Hardy involved has all sorts of potential, especially with a director like Cooper on board. The film still doesn't have distribution, but with this kind of talent attached, that won't be a problem. Production is slated to begin in May with the most recent draft of the script coming from Mark Mallouk, based on Black Mass: The True Story Of An Unholy Alliance Between The FBI And The Irish Mob. This definitely has the potential to become the kind of film that Depp's previous gangster effort, Public Enemies, simply didn't deliver. Sound good?