Principal photography begins on Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch film about Whitey Bulger
Once again Johnny Depp will be donning the persona of a known and dangerous criminal from our collective history, this time from the as-yet-untitled drama based on the book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob, about the infamous gangster Whitey Bulger. The film stars Oscar nominee Johnny Depp (“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” “Finding Neverland,” the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films) as Whitey Bulger and Joel Edgerton (“The Great Gatsby,” “Zero Dark Thirty”) as FBI Agent John Connolly. Filming began in Boston under the direction of Scott Cooper (“Out of the Furnace,” “Crazy Heart”).
The film also stars Benedict Cumberbatch (“Twelve Years a Slave”) as Whitey’s brother, Billy Bulger, who is a Massachusetts State Senator; Jesse Plemons (AMC’s “Breaking Bad”) as Whitey’s longtime partner in crime, Kevin Weeks; Sienna Miller (HBO’s “The Girl”) as Whitey’s lover, Catherine Greig; Dakota Johnson (upcoming “Fifty Shades of Grey”) as Lindsey Cyr, Whitey’s former girlfriend and mother of his only child; Rory Cochrane (“Argo”) as Steve Flemmi, another member of the Irish mob; Julianne Nicholson (“August: Osage County”) as John Connolly’s wife, Marianne; and Adam Scott (ABC’s “Parks and Recreation”) as FBI Agent Robert Fitzpatrick. Rounding out the main cast are David Harbour (“End of Watch”), Jeremy Strong (“Zero Dark Thirty”), Brad Carter (HBO’s “True Detective”), W. Earl Brown (“Draft Day”) and Corey Stoll (“The Bourne Legacy”).
Brian Oliver, Tyler Thompson, John Lesher, Patrick McCormick and Scott Cooper are producing the film, with Peter Mallouk, Lauren Selig, Brett Granstaff and Gary Granstaff serving as executive producers. The screenplay is adapted from the book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob, by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill.
In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly (Edgerton) persuades Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger (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.
The creative team collaborating with Cooper behind the scenes includes director of photography Masanobu Takayanagi (“Silver Linings Playbook,” “Out of the Furnace”), production designer Stefania Cella (“The Great Beauty”) and Oscar®-nominated editor David Rosenbloom (“The Insider,” “Out of the Furnace”).
The film is a Warner Bros. Pictures presentation in association with Cross Creek Pictures and RatPac Entertainment, a Cross Creek Production in association with Le Grisbi Productions, and Freestate Pictures*. It will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.