​johnny depp plays a terrifying real-life gangster in 'black mass'

Depp portrays notorious gangster and FBI informant Whitey Bulger in the film's first official trailer.

by i-D Staff
27 April 2015, 1:45pm

Johnny Depp takes on the role of terrifying real-life Irish-American gangster James "Whitey" Bulger in upcoming film Black Mass. In a script adapted from the 2001 book of the same name by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill, Black Mass tells the true story of mob boss Bulger, the brother of a Massachusetts State Senator and a violent criminal who struck an incredible deal with the FBI.

In the late 70s, Bulger presided over the murderous Irish-American Winter Hill Gang in South Boston. In order to crush his rivals, the Italian-American Patriarca mafia, Bulger used his connection with childhood friend and federal agent John Connolly to become an FBI informant. Giving up information about both the Italians and his fellow Irish mobsters, Bulger effectively won immunity for his actions, something which later became very embarrassing for the FBI, when he skipped town and was named number 2 on America's most-wanted list, second only to Osama Bin Laden.

It has been a busy news week for the Depps, with the release of the Black Mass trailer and reports that Johnny did not turn up for filming on the new Pirates of the Caribbean film, as well as his daughter Lily-Rose Depp making her editorial debut.

Black Mass, which also stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Bulger's Senator brother Billy, alongside Sienna Miller, Kevin Bacon and Dakota Johnson, is out on September 18.

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