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Johnny Depp is officially set to play notorious Irish mobster Whitey Bulger in a new biopic scheduled to come out in May of this year.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the film will be an adaptation of an earlier book, Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob. Black Mass is a play on Bulger’s Boston stomping grounds.
The real-life 81-year-old Bulger was arrested in Santa Monica in 2011 while in hiding after being listed on the FBI’s most wanted list.
Although he was on the FBI’s list, Bulger was known for dodging arrests and getting away with murder by virtue of being an FBI informant. According to this CBS report, FBI agent John Connolly Jr. tipped off Bulger about the FBI moving in to arrest him, prompting him to go on the run for 16 years until finally being caught.
Connolly was later convicted of racketeering for his connections to Bulger.
Prior to that, Bulger helped the FBI in a crackdown of the northeast Italian mob by sharing intelligence on their criminal operations. As a result, Bulger was allowed to roam free in his criminal enterprise in South Boston.
The new movie will be put out by Universal, and it will be directed by Academy Award-winner Barry Levinson. Some of Levinson’s more notable directing works include The Rain Man, The Natural and Wag the Dog.