Johnny Depp set to star as Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger. Johnny Depp has just been tapped to star as notorious Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger. Based on a New York Times bestseller, the film Black Mass is scheduled to begin shooting in May, and will be directed by Barry Levinson.
Bulger, who was allegedly involved in nearly 20 murders, was busted in June 2011 after being on the run and on top of the Most Wanted list for more than a decade. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon also have a project in the works about Bulger, who partially served as the inspiration for the film The Departed.
The film will be based on Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob, a 2001 New York Times best-selling true crime tome written by Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill. The book documented how Bulger was the most feared crime boss in Boston at the same time he was an informant for the FBI. He served as the inspiration for Jack Nicholson’s Boston gangster Frank Costello in Martin Scorsese’s 2006 Oscar-winning crime story The Departed. For 12 years, Bulger was one of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted. He was finally captured in Santa Monica, California, in June 2011 and currently resides in a correctional facility in Plymouth, Massachusetts.