Johnny Depp must be ready for some real bad seed action because he's just signed up to play the notoriously vicious Boston gangster slash prized FBI informant Whitey Bulger in Barry Levinson's "Black Mass."
As detailed by Indie Wire, Depp previously teamed with Levinson for "Donnie Brasco" - only this time, Levinson will direct rather than produce - and will perhaps help to ouster competitive Whitey Bulger projects by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as well as "Twilight" star Peter Facinelli.
Bulger, the fearsome leader of The Winter Hill Gang, was the nefarious inspiration for Jack Nicholson's character in "The Departed" and was finally detained in 2011 after ducking out in California for several years. He's now been charged with nineteen murders as well as other racketeering offenses.
The script for "Black Mass," which details the shady dealings of Bulger and the Bureau, was re-written by "Inside Man" and "Righteous Kill" scribe Russell Gewirtz in 2011 from a previous script penned by Mark Mallouk. The story stems from the bestselling "Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob" by Dick Lehr and Gerald O'Neill.
Ben Affleck considered his Whitey Bulger project to be "the movie after next" at last check-in, while Peter Facinelli's adaptation of another book on the story - "Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer For Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob" by Edward MacKenzie and Phyllis Karas - has also been in slow motion since summer 2011.
With production on "Black Mass" expected to begin in May and sales hitting the Berlin International Film Festival European Film Market this month, Depp's addition takes the Bulger project behind door number two to the finish line quickest (and perhaps ultimately solo as well).