Johnny Depp is portraying James 'Whitey' Bulger, a Boston criminal who also served as an FBI informant to get rid of his competition in South Boston, with the help of his longtime friend and FBI agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) and his brother (Guy Pearce), the former President of the Massachussets State Senate.
When Connolly tipped Bulger off that the feds were planning on double-crossing him, the criminal went into hiding for more than a decade, rising to the top of the FBI's Most Wanted list before he was eventually caught in 2011 while hiding out in Santa Monica, California. The criminal served as the inspiration for Jack Nicholson's Frank Costello in 2006 Best Picture winner The Departed and Pete Postlethwaite's Fergus "Fergie" Colm in The Town.
Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace) is directing from a screenplay by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth, based on the book Black Mass: The True Story Of An Unholy Alliance Between The FBI And The Irish Mob by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neil. After numerous delays, production is scheduled to begin this spring in Boston, with Warner Bros. handing out an October 2015 release date last month.