The production surrounding Scott Cooper’s Black Mass has been a bit of a doozy. The movie has been in the works for a while now, first with Barry Levinson at the helm before it hit a few roadblocks. Production shut down completely last May over a salary dispute with Johnny Depp, then started up again earlier this month with Depp firmly back in place as the lead. However, Levinson got left behind and was replaced with Cooper, who then brought on Tom Hardy for a supporting role. Now, we have word that the film finally has a release date, but has lost Hardy and replaced him with Joel Edgerton (who was cast in Hardy’s part originally). Phew! Still with us?
Black Mass is based on the novel Black Mass: The True Story Of An Untold Alliance Between The FBI And The Irish Mob by Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill. Depp will play Whitey Bulger, who went from being a Boston mobster to an FBI informant, then used his newfound status to begin eliminating the competition by ratting them out to the FBI.
Deadline reports that production is finally moving forward and that Warner Bros. will co-finance the film along with Cross Creek Productions. Filming is set to get underway in Boston in the next few months, in order for Depp to fit the project into his busy schedule before headlining Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and co-starring in Alice in Wonderland 2.
Black Mass certainly sounds like it could make a great film, especially with Depp and Edgerton on board. Depp is no stranger to playing gangsters (see: Donnie Brasco and Public Enemies) and Edgerton is one of Hollywood’s best unsung movie stars and should make for a suitable replacement. Now we just have our fingers crossed that things will be smooth sailing from here on out and that this film will finally get off the ground.
Black Mass is currently scheduled for an October 2015 release date. We’ll be sure to keep you posted when we hear more.