A trio of films on the infamous Beantown crime boss are being made, with Depp starring in one.
CONFIRMED: Actor Johnny Depp will portray mobster Whitey Bulger in 'Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob'
Actor Johnny Depp will reprise the role of a 1970s-era gangster when he plays the role of famed Irish mobster Whitey Bulger in a new film written by former Boston Globe investigative reporters Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill and directed by Barry Levinson, according to a statement by Cross Creek Pictures President Brian Oliver.
The film, titled "Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob" will chronicle Bulger's life as an organized crime kingpin in Boston, where he attained Robin Hood-like status among certain natives who viewed his illegal protection rackets as helping to clean up neighborhoods and protect residents from drug dealers and other thugs, while earning a reputation as a ruthless killer from his enemies and law enforcement. The film will also outline the strange relationship between the FBI and Bulger, in which the gangster served as an FBI informant, while being allowed to continue his life of crime.
Two more Bulger films in the works
As IndieWire and UPI report, Depp isn't the only big star looking to portray one of America's most fascinating gangsters. Boston natives and longtime friends and collaborators Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are working on a film about Bulger with "Sopranos" and "Boardwalk Empire" writer Terry Winter, with Damon set to play Bulger. Meanwhile, another film, "Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer For Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob," is being produced as an adaptation of Edward MacKenzie and Phyllis Karas' book by "Twilight" actor Peter Facinelli.
Bulger awaiting trial
While it seems that it's a good time to be an actor looking to portray Whitey Bulger, being Bulger himself is another story. After his dramatic arrest in 2011 after years of hiding in California, Bulger, now 83 years old and in poor health, is awaiting trial for 19 alleged murders and is currently residing in Plymouth County House of Corrections in Plymouth, Mass.
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