Hush, everyone, Johnny Depp is doing his best acting. After years of working as a professional punchline for the likes of Tim Burton (Dark Shadows) and David Koepp (Mortdecai), the A-lister is finally asserting his dramatic talents once more in this fall’s Black Mass, which finds him taking on the plum role of feared Boston gangster Whitey Bulger.
The Scott Cooper-directed crime saga centers on the sinister partnership between Bulger and FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton), as they teamed up to take on the Italian mob in Boston in the 1970s. That alliance ultimately allowed Bulger to create a criminal empire from which he could rule the city, untouchably and with an iron fist.
Bulger is a horrifying figure, and it seems like Black Mass won’t skimp on depicting him as a nasty customer, but what’s really interesting here is the dark humor on display throughout the preview. A crime saga that doesn’t take itself too seriously is a rare beast indeed, so it will be interesting to see whether there will be comedic elements in the final cut.
Regardless, Cooper has assembled a dazzling array of talent that marks Black Mass as one of the fall’s most anticipated flicks. In addition to Depp and Edgerton, the film stars Dakota Johnson, Corey Stoll, Juno Temple, Peter Sarsgaard, Adam Scott, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, Jesse Plemons, Sienna Miller and Rory Cochrane, among others.
Black Mass opens on September 18.
In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) persuades Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) to collaborate with the FBI and eliminate a common enemy: the Italian mob. The drama tells the true story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Whitey to evade law enforcement, consolidate power, and become one of the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in Boston history.