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Johnny Depp back on board to play Whitey Bulger

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Feb 10, 2014 | 11:04am EST

Johnny Depp is back on board to portray notorious crime boss James 'Whitey' Bulger in a new biopic. The Edward Scissorhands star was originally cast in Black Mass last February (13), but dropped out in May (13) after he was reportedly asked to take a $10 million (£6.25 million) pay cut due to budget constraints. Last month (Jan14), it was reported the actor was back in talks and now he has officially signed on to play the Boston, Massachusetts gangster, who spent almost two decades evading capture after he was placed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation 's (FBI) Most Wanted List, according to Deadline.com. Rain Man director Barry Levinson was initially attached to direct the film, but Out of the Furnace filmmaker Scott Cooper has taken over the project. In addition to Depp's casting, The Dark Knight Rises actor Tom Hardy is reportedly in talks to star as former FBI agent John Connolly, a childhood friend of Bulger who served time in prison for racketeering and obstruction of justice charges stemming from his relationship with him. Production is expected to begin in May (14). Black Mass isn't the only film based on Bulger's life story in development - Matt Damon is also set to star as the crime lord in a new project directed by his pal Ben Affleck, while Twilight actor Peter Facinelli is working on a TV adaptation of Edward MacKenzie and Phyllis Karas' book Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer For Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob.

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