Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: New Hilarious Red-Band Trailer For 'The Interview' Starring Seth Rogen And James Franco Watch: New Hilarious Red-Band Trailer For 'The Interview' Starring Seth Rogen And James Franco Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Fantastic Fest Review: Hitman Thriller 'John Wick' Starring Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe & Adrianne Palicki Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big  Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz Watch: First Trailer For Tim Burton's 'Big Eyes' Starring Amy Adams And Christoph Waltz 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date 'Deadpool’ Spin-Off With Ryan Reynolds Is Finally Green Lit, Set For A Winter 2016 Release Date First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' First Look: Cobie Smulders & Guy Pearce In Andrew Bujalski's 'Results' 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders 10 Films We Haven’t Yet Seen That May Be Serious Oscar Contenders Watch: Oscar Isaac And Jessica Chastain Are At War In First Trailer For 'A Most Violent Year' Watch: Oscar Isaac And Jessica Chastain Are At War In First Trailer For 'A Most Violent Year' Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Review: 'The Maze Runner' Starring Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Patricia Clarkson, Will Poulter And More Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” Exclusive: Matthew McConaughey Won’t Be Back For ‘Magic Mike XXL,’ Director Says Sequel Will Be “Very Different” David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' David Fincher Says He Shouldn't Have Directed 'The Game,' Dislikes Superhero Movies & Talks "Crazy" '20,000 Leagues' Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series Matt Damon & Paul Greengrass Are Returning To The 'Bourne' Series First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' First Look: Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt In 'By The Sea' The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 2 ‘The Good Listener’ The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Warner Bros. Boards Johnny Depp's 'Black Mass' But Kiboshes Ben Affleck & Matt Damon's Whitey Bulger Pic

The Playlist By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 28, 2014 at 4:42PM

Often in Hollywood, it's a game of massaging egos versus making decisions that are smart for the bottom line, and Warner Bros. had some tough decisions to make this week. The studio was given the opportunity to come aboard and co-finance "Black Mass," the Johnny Depp-starring flick based on the life of notorious gangster Whitey Bulger. But in doing so they had to kibosh a similar project by one of their golden boys.
26
Black Mass Johnny Depp

Often in Hollywood, it's a game of massaging egos versus making decisions that are smart for the bottom line, and Warner Bros. had some tough decisions to make this week. The studio was given the opportunity to come aboard and co-finance "Black Mass," the Johnny Depp-starring flick based on the life of notorious gangster Whitey Bulger. But in doing so they had to kibosh a similar project by one of their golden boys.

Deadline reveals that WB has meanwhile scuttled plans for the long-developing Bulger pic being developed by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, with the the former directing and the latter starring. The story goes that the pair were given a heads up before the announcement went public, but the timing was still unfortunately as Terence Winter ("Boardwalk Empire") had just turned in his latest draft. Naturally, feelings were hurt. And WB will certainly want to make sure they keep Affleck happy somehow as he's delivered "The Town" and "Argo" for them, has "Live By Night" in the pipeline and he's also their new Batman. We wouldn't be surprised if within a few days or weeks we hear of a new Affleck priority project set up at the studio.

Meanwhile, the Scott Cooper flick continues to ramp up. To refresh your memory, it's based on the bestselling book by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill, "Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, The FBI, and a Devil's Deal," and tells the story of one of the FBI’s Most Wanted men and the fearsome leader of the The Winter Hill Gang, who counted murder and racketeering among his crimes. He was also an informant to the FBI.

Bulger is a pretty great part and it's easy to see WB are rolling the dice with Depp playing a gangster, but there has been one casting change. While Tom Hardy was recently named as the new co-star, playing FBI agent John Connolly, a childhood friend who tipped off Bulger that he was going to be prosecuted, that role is now being played by Joel Edgerton who was originally attached to the movie last summer. 

Anyway, it looks like the project is on firm ground and there's likely more news to come with production to start this spring.

This article is related to: Black Mass, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Joel Edgerton


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates