Back to IndieWire

Watch: ‘Black Mass’ Director Scott Cooper Dissects Whitey Bulger’s Bloody Rise to the Top

Watch: 'Black Mass' Director Scott Cooper Dissects Whitey Bulger's Bloody Rise to the Top

Whitey Bulger wore many hats during his ascent to power in Boston: Criminal, drug kingpin, murderer and, of course, rat. Well, almost. In a new featurette, “Black Mass” director and producer Scott Cooper unpacks the mythology of a mastermind, showing us how Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp) became a most wanted man.

“Black Mass” is set to world-premiere at this year’s Venice Film Festival.

When FBI Agent (and childhood friend) John Connolly seeks Whitey’s help to alleviate crime in the city, Whitey jumps at the chance to become an informant. Not because he relishes the chance to do some good, but so that he can take out the competition. Bulger equates the move to a cunning “business opportunity… Get the [FBI] to fight our wars — while they protect us, we do whatever we want.” With that mantra, Whitey takes aim at the Italian Mafia and prepares to annihilate his adversaries in an all out turf war, that the FBI in many respects, helped sanction until the grisly end. 

“It was the biggest scandal in the history of the FBI,” says Cooper. Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson and Kevin Bacon co-star.

READ MORE: Johnny Depp Is America’s Most Wanted Gangster in ‘Black Mass’ Trailer

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged , , , , , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox