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Johnny Depp is attached to star in Barry Levinson's gangster thriller Black Mass, which recounts the real-life story of South Boston criminal mastermind Whitey Bulger.
The project, which is set to shoot in May, puts into question Transcendence, which was to be Depp's next movie. That project, a sci-fi thriller to be directed by Inception cinematographer Wally Pfister, is awaiting a rewrite of its script.
Cross Creek is producing Black Mass, which will be shopped to foreign buyers at the upcoming European Film Market in Berlin. Exclusive Media is selling the film internationally, while Universal will distribute the film in North America.
Cross Creek has optioned the rights to New York Times bestseller Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob, written by Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerland O'Neil. Mark Mallouk wrote an updated adaptation of the book following the June 2011 capture of Bulger, who had been on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list for more than a decade.
Bulger is considered to be the most infamous criminal in the history of South Boston. He became an FBI informant in order to take down a rival Mafia family, only to be double-crossed by the government and prosecuted himself.
Depp is represented by UTA.