The Boston Globe reports today that Benedict Cumberbatch is set to replace English-born Australian actor Guy Pearce in the Whitey Bulger biopic from Warner Brothers Pictures', "Black Mass." The article states that Pearce was "believed to be playing the mob boss’s law-abiding brother, Billy" while Johnny Depp has the lead role as Boston mobster-turned-FBI-informant James "Whitey" Bulger, who would later be one of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted for over a decade.
The film is currently shooting in the Boston area with media reports detailing celebrity sightings of Depp and his fiancée, Amber Heard, as well as observations on the transformation of 50-year-old Depp's appearance.
|NYDN/PATRIOT PICS/FAMEFLYNET/ FBI/AP|
Johnny Depp (L) Whitey Bulger (R)
The biopic's director is Scott Cooper, and also stars Dakota Johnson ("Fifty Shades of Grey") and Juno Temple (who portrayed Lola Quincey in "Atonement" and Jane Parker in "The Other Boleyn Girl" - sharing the cast list once more with Benedict Cumberbatch.
The film crew is expected to remain in the Boston area until the end of May, with the film's debut tentatively set for late 2015.
More information will likely be forthcoming from production company partner, Cross Creek Pictures, who provided funding for the film, based on the 2012 book by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill, "Black Mass: The Irish Mob, the FBI, and a Devil's Deal." (An excerpt and book review are available here from the NY Times.)