Johnny Depp is back on board the bio-pic Black Mass. News coming out of the Berlin Film Festival (via Deadline) states that the actor has signed to play Whitey Bulger in director Scott Cooper’s film about the Boston gangster. Last spring, Depp had been in talks to appear in the film but wound up dropping out when an agreement over his paycheck couldn’t be reached.
Deadline is also reporting that Tom Hardy is in talks to play John Connolly, the FBI agent and childhood friend of Bulger, who is currently in prison for tipping off Bulger that he was about to come under federal indictment.
Bolger was the head of a Boston crime family who turned FBI informant but continued to maintain criminal connections with federal, state and local law enforcement officials. Fleeing a an impending RICO indictment, Bulger was on the run from the FBI from 1994 until his arrest at age 81 in 2011.
The screenplay is by Mark Mallouk, who has adapted Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill’s 2001 New York Times bestseller Black Mass: The True Story Of An Unholy Alliance Between The FBI And The Irish Mob.
The production was originally scheduled to start shooting late last year, but that plan was scuttled when Derpp dropped out. The film will now get under way this May.