He will play Billy Bulger, the law-abiding brother to Johnny Depp's Whitey Bulger, in the biopic based on the Boston crime boss
Johnny Depp stars as crime boss Whitey Bulger in the movie that tells the story of his time as an FBI informant, his later flight from justice, and eventual capture.
Based on the book, “Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob,” written by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill, the film is directed by Scott Cooper from a screenplay by Mark Mallouk and Cooper.
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Cumberbatch replaces Pearce as Billy Bulger, Whitey's brother, who stayed on the right side of the law, choosing politics over a life of crime. Pearce had to step away due to scheduling issues. Production has already begun on the film in Boston.
Bulger, a modern crime lord, was captured in 2011 after 16 years on the run. He was sentenced to two consecutive life terms, plus five years. Joel Edgerton portrays FBI Agent John Connolly, who was sentenced to 40 years for aiding Bulger. Connolly has maintained his innocence.
“Black Mass” co-stars Dakota Johnson and Juno Temple, and is produced by Brett Granstaff, John Lesher, Patrick McCormick and Tyler Thompson. The film is a co-production of Cross Creek Pictures, Grisbi Productions, Infinitum Nihil, and Ridgerock Entertainment Group, and will be distributed by Warner Bros.