The last we heard about the James 'Whitey' Bulger biopic Black Mass, star Johnny Depp had left the project back in May, after the producers asked him to accept half of his normal asking price of $20 million, which he turned down. It seems the actor has had a change of heart, since he has re-entered negotiations to play Bulger, with Scott Cooper in talks to re-write the script and direct.
Barry Levinson was previously attached to direct, but he isn't involved at this point. The plot follows the Boston mobster and brother of a state senator, who became an FBI informant to help rid his neighborhood of mafia elements, which strengthened his Winter Hill gang's stronghold on the community.
We also reported last May that Joel Edgerton is playing FBI agent John Connolly, a childhood friend of Bulger who brought down the Italian mob in South Boston. Their whole operation eventually went south, with the FBI double-crossing Bulger after the mafia case was closed. Connolly was convicted of racketeering and obstruction of justice. Bulger, who was at the top of the agency's Ten Most Wanted List, disappeared for more than a decade, before his arrest in 2011. Bulger is currently locked up in a Massachusetts for second-degree murder.
The project is based on Black Mass: The True Story Of An Unholy Alliance Between The FBI And The Irish Mob by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neil, which was originally adapted by Mark Mallouk and rewritten by Jez Butterworth. Brian Oliver, Tyler Thompson and John Lesher are producing, and if Johnny Depp finalizes his deal, the actor's producing partner Christi Dembrowski will also come on board.