Production is currently underway on director Scott Cooper’s (Crazy Heart) Whitey Bulger film Black Mass with Johnny Depp in the lead role, but a couple of last-minute casting changes have been made. Guy Pearce was originally set to play the mob boss’ brother, Billy Bulger, but the Boston Globe reports that Pearce had to drop out for unknown reasons and now Benedict Cumberbatch will fill the role. The London-born Cumberbatch did a surprisingly solid job of nailing the Oklahoma accent for last year’s August: Osage County, so he makes a fine addition to Black Mass. Additionally, THR adds that Parks and Recreation star Adam Scott has signed on to play an FBI agent in the crime drama, marking a change of pace for the comedic actor.
Cooper is coming off the commercially disappointing Out of the Furnace, but Black Mass is shaping up to be quite promising. In addition to Depp, Cumberbatch, and Scott, the cast also includes Joel Edgerton, Dakota Johnson, Juno Temple, and Jesse Plemons. A release date has yet to be set, but a fall 2015 release (ie. an awards push) for Black Mass doesn’t seem out of the question.