Johnny Depp became attached to play Boston gangster Whitey Bulger in the biopic Black Mass in February. Just two weeks ago, Joel Edgerton signed on to co-star as an FBI agent close to Bulger. Together they make a nice anchor for director Barry Levinson—however, Depp may end up leaving the project that is currently scheduled to shoot this summer. Deadline does not get into too much detail, but reports there is trouble finalizing the details of Depp’s deal and “things aren’t looking great at the moment.” Given Depp’s stature, we should hear for sure whether he’s in or out soon. [Update: Variety reports Depp is out—there is speculation that he balked at a request to take a paycut from his $20 million standard, but nothing definitive. Levinson and Edgerton remain attached, but it is unclear if that is enough to convince financiers to go forward with the project.]
Cross Creek and Exclusive Media are funding the independent production—Universal will distribute. More after the jump.
While his most recent directorial effort, Argo, is beginning to generate well-deserved Oscar buzz, Ben Affleck spoke briefly about some of his upcoming projects that are sure to attract a lot of interest. When last we reported on Affleck collaborating with Matt Damon, it was to shed some light on the details of their Whitey Bulger picture. The rise-and-fall biopic of the Boston-area crime boss is apparently still in development, but Affleck did give a quick comment on it.
A bigger picture is Affleck’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand, a long-gestating picture that has fans hoping for some good news. Unfortunately, it’s proving to be an unwieldy bit of source material as Affleck admits to struggling with it. Struggling, not giving up. Hit the jump for more quotes from Affleck.
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are set to reteam for a biopic of Irish crime boss Whitey Bulger. The project hasn’t been officially announced, but Damon is playing Bulger, Affleck is directing, and Terrence Winter (Boardwalk Empire) is writing the script. Affleck and Damon were previously planning to team up for The Trade, a true-life story about wife-swapping Yankees players, but legal complications have held up the project. Damon says the movie is still in development, but it will come after the Bulger biopic.
Hit the jump for more on Bulger, the direction the movie might take, and an update on Damon’s recently-announced directorial debut. [Update: More details have been revealed about the project including new casting. Hit the jump for more.]