Did Johnny Depp show up to play this time? Depp’s career direction these days seems to be the opposite of the daring and quixotic choices in the halcyon years when he was working with Tim Burton one day (“Ed Wood”), Emir Kuristica (“Arizona Dream”) the next, and Jim Jarmusch (“Dead Man”) the following day. Now the actor’s career seems to be dictated by what his audience wants, or the bundles of cash they send his way after starring in the umpteenth ‘Pirates’ movie. Could this all change with the crime drama “Black Mass,” which looks like it could even be fall film contender? Already demonstrating some ‘Godfather’-ish tones in its early photos and the trailer, in “Black Mass,” Depp puts vanity away and stars as a cold-blooded and infamous true-life mob boss from Boston. Here’s the official synopsis:
In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly persuades Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) to collaborate with the FBI and eliminate a common enemy: the Italian mob. The drama tells the true story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Whitey to evade law enforcement, consolidate power, and become one of the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in Boston history.
Meanwhile, the movie’s director Scott Cooper is on the verge of true greatness. He directed Jeff Bridges to an Academy Award win for country singing drama “Crazy Heart” his first time out the gate, and while “Out Of The Furnace” didn’t quite work, it showed a filmmaker channeling ‘70s greats like “The Deer Hunter” and aiming for something much more ambitious and nuanced than you’d expect in a mainstream thriller. While Cooper’s had two good-but-not-great movies so far, if his stellar cast is any indication, Hollywood is still a believer in his promise.
Besides Depp, “Black Mass” stars (take a deep breath) Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kevin Bacon, Rory Cochrane, David Harbour, Dakota Johnson, Julianne Nicholson James Russo, Adam Scott, Corey Stoll, Juno Temple, W. Earl Brown, Bill Camp, Brad Carter, and Jeremy Strong
Based on the book by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill, with a screenplay by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth, “Black Mass” hits theaters September 18 and so you should probably expect a glitzy TIFF premiere beforehand. Meanwhile, the first official trailer has arrived (the first one was a teaser) and you can watch below.
Posted by Black Mass on Friday, May 22, 2015