Christian Bale and Johnny Depp will be squaring off on opposite sides of the law in the upcoming Public Enemies, writer/director Michael Mann’s adaptation of Public Enemies: America’s Greatest Crime Wave And The Birth Of The FBI, 1933-34, Bryan Burrough’s book on the notorious gangster John Dillinger and Melvin Purvis, the FBI agent in charge of the taskforce trying to bring Dillinger to justice. According to Variety, Bale will be playing Purvis with Depp taking the Dillinger role.
Interestingly, Dillinger has not been previously depicted in a film, evem though his ultimate fate was tied to the movies. He was gunned down in front of Chicago’s Biograph Theater on July 22, 1934, having just left a showing of the gangster film Manhattan Melodrama.
Production on the film is set to begin in March.