Okay, here’s a quick recap: you might recall that this summer, Johnny Depp was slated to shoot the Whitey Bulger pic “Black Mass” with director Barry Levinson and co-star Joel Edgerton, but then things went south. Production company Cross Creek Pictures asked Depp—who they were already paying $20 million—to take a pay cut (along with everyone else), when budget went from $50 to $63 million. They couldn’t manage to renegotiate his contract and the movie fell apart. But it may be coming back to life.
Deadline reports that Depp is now circling the movie again, with “Crazy Heart” and “Out of the Furnace” director Scott Cooper to rewrite and direct the film. The initial script was penned by Mark Mallouk, and is based on the bestselling book by Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill, “Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob,” telling the story of the infamous gangster and leader of The Winter Hill Gang, who was on the FBI’s top ten most wanted list for the past few decades before he was dramatically arrested in 2011 after years of hiding in California. Depp would be taking the juicy role of Bulger if this all works out.
But as with all things Depp, he’s courted for everything under the sun (see “Doctor Strange“), but with two mega-sequels owed to Disney (“Alice In Wonderland 2,” “Pirates Of The Caribbean 5“), scheduling the actor can be tricky. And he costs a lot. That said, he’s Johnny Depp, so he can probably gets what he wants, and from his end, this is a pretty great role. But if “Black Mass” does come together, it’ll be a bit of bummer news to Ben Affleck and Matt Damon who have their own Bulger movie in the works, though it’s still in the rewrite phase and a long way from being made given Batman’s schedule.