Black Mass: Johnny Depp stars as a real-life Boston crime boss in the Whitey Bulger biopic

4:40 PM EST 1/12/2015 by Kara Michelle, Celebeat Reporter

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Warner Bros. Pictures' Black Mass is an action crime-drama thriller film adapted from the 2001 book by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill titled Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob. Written and directed by Scott Cooper, Black Mass follows the story of James 'Whitey' Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf.

According to the studio's synopsis of the film, Whitey Bulger and John Connolly grew up together on the streets of South Boston. Decades later, in the late 1970s, they would meet again. By then, Connolly was a major figure in the FBI's Boston office while Whitey had become godfather of the Irish Mob. What happened between them - a dirty deal to trade secrets and take down Boston's Italian Mafia in the process - would spiral out of control, leading to murders, drug dealing, racketeering indictments, and, ultimately, to Whitey making the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List.

For 12 years, the real Whitey Bulger was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List, second behind Osama Bin Laden. He was finally caught on June 11, 2011, with his long-time girlfriend Catherine Greig in Santa Monica, California. He was 81 years old at the time of his arrest. He was tried and found guilty on 32 counts of racketeering, money laundering, extortion, weapons charges, and complicity in 19 cases of murder. He is currently serving his sentence of life imprisonment at a US penitentiary in Sumterville, Florida.

Black Mass stars Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger, Benedict Cumberbatch as his ex-senator brother Billy, Sienna Miller as his girlfriend Catherine Greig, Dakota Johnson as his common law wife Lyndsey Cyr, Joel Edgerton as John Connolly, along with Kevin Bacon, Jesse Plemons, David Harbour, Rory Cochrane, Julian Nicholson, James Russo, Adam Scott, Jeremy Strong, Brad Carter, W. Earl Brown, Juno Temple, Corey Stoll, Peter Sarsgaard, and Erica McDermott. Cross Creek Pictures is producing the project. Black Mass will be shown in theaters beginning September 18.

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