Johnny Depp has undergone yet another physical transformation for an upcoming role, but this time it’s not in the interest of laughs or big budget tentpoles—he’s going straight drama. Black Mass tells the story of the unendingly fascinating crime boss Whitey Bulger, who simultaneously served as an FBI informant and enacted horrific crimes across the Boston area for decades, before he was finally arrested in 2011.
Depp plays Bulger in the upcoming drama from Crazy Heart and Out of the Furnace writer/director Scott Cooper, and as we can see in this first image, he’s physically gone all-in for the role. Indeed, Cooper tells EW (who debuted the photo) that, “A lot of people on set knew Whitey intimately. They got chills at the resemblance. Some of them couldn’t look at him.”
Response to the first footage from the film at CinemaCon yesterday was highly positive (see Steve’s reaction here), and I’m enthused to see Depp returning to the crime drama genre under the direction of the extremely gifted Cooper. With a September 18th release date set, it’s hard not to consider the possibility that Depp could be in the heat of this year’s awards race.
Check out the first Black Mass image below, via EW. The film also stars Dakota Johnson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Juno Temple, Corey Stoll, Kevin Bacon, Adam Scott, Jesse Plemons, Peter Sarsgaard, and Julianne Nicholson.