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David Dastmalchian Joins ‘Ant-Man’, David Harbour Adds To ‘Black Mass’; ‘Ride Along 2′ Taps Olivia Munn

By | Tuesday July 1, 2014 @ 6:34pm PDT

David Dastmalchian Joins ‘Ant-Man’, David Harbour Adds To ‘Black Mass’; ‘Ride Along 2′ Taps Olivia MunnDavid Dastmalchian has signed on to play an unspecified role in Ant-man that Marvel is keeping under wraps. The actor’s character will join an ensemble headed by Paul Rudd. Dastmalchian most recently was seen in Prisoners and won the Courage in Filmmaking Award at this year’s 2014 SXSW Film Festival for writing and starring in Animals.  He is repped by CESD, Principato Young Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson. Read More »

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WB Dates Whitey Bulger Pic ‘Black Mass’ For Fall 2015

By | Monday June 30, 2014 @ 6:10pm PDT

WB Dates Whitey Bulger Pic ‘Black Mass’ For Fall 2015Warner Bros. announced today that their untitled Whitey Bulger film starring Johnny Depp, also known as Black Mass, will hit theaters on September 18, 2015. Universal’s Jake Gyllenhaal and Jason Clarke true life disaster pic Everest is the only wide-release competition currently slated for that weekend. Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace) is helming the drama about Boston gangster Bulger’s notorious relationship with FBI agent John Connolly, which also stars Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Sienna Miller, Dakota Johnson, Rory Cochran, Julianne Nicholson, and Adam Scott. Kevin Bacon joined the cast last week as the film continues to shoot through the summer.

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Kevin Bacon Joins ‘Black Mass,’ ‘Cop Car’ In Busy Three-Film Hiatus From ‘The Following’

By | Thursday June 26, 2014 @ 11:48am PDT

Kevin Bacon Joins ‘Black Mass,’ ‘Cop Car’ In Busy Three-Film Hiatus From ‘The Following’EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Bacon‘s break from Fox’s The Following just got busier. Most actors try to fit in a project while on TV hiatus, but the Golden Globe winner is making the most of his down time with a three-film summer. He’s joined the cast of WB’s untitled Black Mass project opposite Johnny Depp as notorious Irish mobster Whitey Bulger, whose relationship with FBI agent John Connolly allowed him to evade law enforcement and become one of the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in Boston history. Bacon will play Charles McGuire, the FBI Special Agent in charge of the Boston field office and John Connelly’s boss. Scott Cooper is at the helm for a summer shoot in Boston with a cast that includes Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Sienna Miller, Dakota Johnson, Rory Cochran, Julianne Nicholson, and Adam Scott.

Related: Q&A: Kevin Bacon On 20 Years Of Six Degrees, ‘Animal House’ & ‘The Following’

Meanwhile, Bacon has been dancing under the radar in Colorado filming Cop Car, an indie thriller from director Jon Watts (The Fuzz, Eugene!). Pic tracks a police officer hunting down the two kids who stole his car for a joyride – unaware that there’s a dead body in the trunk. Bacon is playing the corrupt cop, Sheriff Shannon, in the Coen Brothers-esque project written by Watts and CD Ford and produced by Alicia Van Couvering (Drinking Buddies, Tiny Furniture). Read More »

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Sarah Paulson Joins Nic Cage In ‘The Runner’; Matt Craven Suits Up For ‘Stonewall’; Jeremy Strong Joins ‘Selma,’ ‘Black Mass,’ ‘Time Out Of Mind’

By | Tuesday June 10, 2014 @ 7:23pm PDT

Sarah Paulson Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated Sarah Paulson has joined Nicolas Cage in The Runner, about an idealistic but flawed New Orleans Congressman Colin Price whose dysfunctional life and career are destroyed by a sex scandal. Paulson, last seen in the Oscar-winner 12 Years A Slave, will play a PR consultant Price hires to help him get back into the political game. Paulson earned an Emmy nod for her turn in American Horror Story: Asylum and will return for the FX series’ next installment, American Horror Story: Freak Show. She’s repped by UTA and Kipperman Management.

Craven, MattResurrection and Justified thesp Matt Craven has been cast in Roland Emmerich’s NYC period drama Stonewall. Jeremy Irvine, Caleb Landry Jones, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ron Perlman, and Joey King are also starring in the pic about the 1969 police raid at Greenwich Village’s Stonewall Inn that served as a flashpoint for the gay rights movement. Craven will play Deputy Seymour Pine, the leader of the raiding police force who sympathizes with the gay community but must carry out his duties. Craven previously starred in Emmerich’s White House Down. He’ll squeeze in his Stonewall shoot before heading to film the second season of ABC’s Resurrection. Craven is repped by Frontline Management, SDB Partners and Paul Hemrend in Toronto.

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Post Christian Grey’s S&M Obsession In ‘Fifty Shades’, Dakota Johnson To Play Mob Moll Opposite Johnny Depp In ‘Black Mass’

By | Friday March 21, 2014 @ 4:30pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Dakota Johnson Black Mass Johnny DeppEXCLUSIVE: Fresh from what should be a star-making turn as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Of Grey, Dakota Johnson is in early talks to play the love interest of Johnny Depp’s Whitey Bulger character in the Scott Cooper-directed Black Mass. Bulger has a couple of women in his life, but Johnson will play Lindsey, his girlfriend and the mother of his 6-year-old son Douglas, who dies tragically. The film is coming together quickly with Warner Bros distributing worldwide with Depp as Bulger, and Joel Edgerton as disgraced FBI agent John Connolly, who grew up with Bulger and was alleged to have tipped him off when the feds were closing in, leading Bulger to go on the lam for a decade until he was finally caught. Guy Pearce will play Bill Bulger, brother of the mobster who was president of the Massachusetts Senate and a major power broker in town.

Related: Johnny Depp Seals Deal To Play Whitey Bulger In ‘Black Mass’

Johnson, who is the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, is expected to return for what will be three and possibly four movies made from the E.L. James book. The first film, which also stars Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey, will be released by Universal and Focus Features … Read More »

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UPDATE: Warner Bros’ Next Whitey Bulger Move: Ease Rift With Ben Affleck And Matt Damon

Mike Fleming

UPDATE, 12:04 PM: By damon_affleckWarner Bros jumping aboard the high-profile Johnny Depp-Joel Edgerton pic Black Mass, it means the studio won’t be taking on another Whitey Bulger project in its own backyard: the one that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon had been developing for a couple of years as a starring vehicle for Damon via their Warners-based Pearl Street Films. I’m hearing that Affleck and Damon were given a day or two advance notice that the studio was putting its eggs in the Black Mass basket, but that news came just a day before the latest rewrite was turned in by Aaron Stockard, who worked with Affleck on The Town and Gone Baby Gone and who rewrote the script by Oscar nominated The Wolf Of Wall Street scribe Terence Winter. There was much enthusiasm, then radio silence, and then…Naturally there are bruised feelings that Warners will have to repair with two of its most valuable players, as this was the first project pitched for Affleck to direct and Damon to star after Pearl Street inked its overall deal there, and I’m told the studio assured the pair it wanted to make their movie.

warnerbrosThis is all a part of the big rough and tumble game of studios needing to fill slates, and clearly someone was going to come out first with a Bulger biopic. But there are plenty of reasons to smooth any ruffles here. Affleck is directing and starring in Warner Bros’ Live By Night, an epic period crime drama that he adapted from the best-selling novel by Dennis Lehane, author of Affleck’s first directorial outing Gone Baby Gone. It’s the follow-up to the Best Picture Oscar winner Argo he made for the studio. He also is playing Batman in Warner Bros’ Batman Vs. Superman. Read More »

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Berlin: Johnny Depp Seals Deal To Play Whitey Bulger In ‘Black Mass’; Tom Hardy In Talks To Play FBI Pal John Connolly

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Johnny Depp has made his deal to star in Black Mass, hardyThe Lone Ranger --UK Film Premierethe drama Scott Cooper will direct about the Boston crime kingpin-turned-fugitive Whitey Bulger, for Cross Creek Pictures and Exclusive Media. Now, they are in early  talks with Tom Hardy to play John Connolly, the FBI agent and childhood pal of Bulger, who is in prison for tipping Bulger that he was about to be indicted. That led Bulger to go from ruthless Boston crime kingpin to the top of the FBI’s Berlin2014_200most wanted list. Domestic distribution hasn’t yet been decided and there are some territories that Exclusive is selling at Berlin, a task made easier by these casting developments.  Production will begin in May.

Depp was originally expected to play Bulger when Barry Levinson was attached to direct, but the deal fell through over money even though the deal was near $20 million. Deadline revealed last month that talks had rekindled with Depp, and this has now become a blue-chip project, particularly when Crazy Heart and Out Of The Furnace helmer Cooper boarded it. The script is by Mark Mallouk, who adapted the 2001 Dick Lehr/Gerald O’Neill New York Times bestseller Black Mass: The True Story Of An Unholy Alliance Between The FBI And The Irish Mob. Read More »

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‘Out Of The Furnace’ Helmer Scott Cooper In Talks For ‘Black Mass;’ Johnny Depp Talks To Play Whitey Bulger Reignite

Mike Fleming

scottcooEXCLUSIVE: Scott Cooper is negotiating to rewrite and direct Black Mass, the drama about the Boston crime kingpin-turned-fugitive Whitey Bulger, for Cross Creek Pictures and Nigel Sinclair and Guy East’s Exclusive Media, with Universal releasing through Cross Creek’s distribution deal with the studio. And guess what? Talks have rekindled for Johnny Depp to possibly play Bulger in the film. You’ll recall he was nearly set last year, but talks fell apart over money.
The subject matter is irresistible. Bulger had risen to the top of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List when he disappeared for a decade before he could be put behind bars. Many felt he could never have gotten that far without the help of John Connolly, an FBI agent and childhood pal of Bulger and his brother William, the former president of the Massachusetts Senate. Joel Edgerton had been in talks to play the FBI pal. Connolly was tasked with bringing down the Italian mob, and he was aided by Bulger, who burnished his own position as Boston crime kingpin by getting rid of the competition for his Winter Hill gang. Connolly was lauded for his work before things went south for him. He eventually was convicted of racketeering and obstruction of justice for aiding Bulger, who is currently in a Massachusetts state prison for second-degree murder. Read More »

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Johnny Depp Now Off ‘Black Mass’ After Salary Spat

By | Thursday May 30, 2013 @ 11:24am PDT
Mike Fleming

UPDATE, 11:24 AM: Deadline broke news last night that Johnny Depp was teetering toward the exit door on Black Mass, the Barry Levinson-directed story of Whitey Bulger, with Joel Edgerton playing his disgraced FBI pal John Connolly. There was some hope last night that after some hard negotiating, things might turn around and Depp would stay in the movie. I’m now told that’s not going to happen. The financiers, Cross Creek and Exclusive Media, are moving to recast the lead, balking at paying Depp the equivalent of $23 million to headline the indie crime drama. If you remember, Ben Affleck planned to direct buddy Matt Damon in a Bulger picture, but this news isn’t going to help those heavily booked fellas. The Black Mass team — which sold the picture heavily in Cannes — expect to have a new star in place so they can shoot the picture later this year. Read More »

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Cannes: Joel Edgerton Moves From ‘Gatsby’ To Whitey Bulger Tale ‘Black Mass’

By | Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 4:38pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Big day on the Croisette for Joel Edgerton. The Australian actor just took the bows for the Cannes opening night film The Great Gatsby, and I’ve learned that he’s just closed a deal to star alongside Johnny Depp in the Cross Creek crime thriller Black Mass, which Barry Levinson is directing. The picture is a co-production between Cross Creek and Nigel Sinclair and Guy East’s Exclusive Media, with the two entities co-financing and Universal Pictures releasing in the U.S. through Cross Creek’s distribution deal with the studio.

Whitey Bulger rose to the top of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List when he disappeared for a decade before he could be put behind bars. Many felt he could never have gotten that far without the help of John Connolly, an FBI agent and childhood pal of Bulger and his brother. Connolly was tasked with bringing down the Italian mob, and he was aided by Bulger, who burnished his own position as Boston crime kingpin by getting rid of the competition for his Winter Hill gang. Edgerton will play Connolly, who was lauded for his work before things went south for him. He was eventually convicted of racketeering and obstruction of justice for aiding Bulger, who is currently in a Massachusetts state prison for second-degree murder. Edgerton gets a meaty role in a story about a … Read More »

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Johnny Depp Lays Out His Dance Card, With ‘Transcendence’ And ‘Black Mass’

By | Wednesday February 27, 2013 @ 4:03pm PST
Mike Fleming

When Deadline broke the story that Johnny Depp would star as Whitey Bulger in the Barry Levinson-directed Black Mass, it raised a lot of questions about his intentions to star in Transcendence, the film directed by Chris Nolan’s visionary cinematographer Wally Pfister. His reps have now clarified the dance card of Depp, who’ll next be seen reuniting with Gore Verbinski in The Lone Ranger this summer. Here’s the deal:

LOS ANGELES (February 27, 2013) — Johnny Depp is set to star in Transcendence, the directorial debut of Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister. The film will begin principal photography in April.

The film is being financed and produced by Alcon Entertainment’s Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove and will be released by Warner Bros. The film will also be produced by Straight Up Films’ Annie Marter, Marisa Polvino and Kate Cohen along with David Valdes. Pfister will direct from newcomer Jack Paglen’s screenplay, which was developed with Annie Marter, with the most recent draft by Noah Oppenheim. Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas are serving as executive producers. Straight Up’s Regency Boies will co-produce.

Producers are not revealing the film’s plot.

Following Transcendence, Depp will segue into the crime thriller Black Mass, about notorious Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger, to be directed by Barry Levinson, with Jez Butterworth writing a new draft of the screenplay by Mark Mallouk, based on the New York Times best-seller Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob by Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill.

Filming is beginning in early summer of 2013.

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In Time For Berlin: Johnny Depp Plays Boston Mob’s Whitey Bulger In ‘Black Mass’

By | Saturday February 2, 2013 @ 6:07pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Just as Whitey Bulger rose to the top of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List when he disappeared for a decade before he could be put behind bars, the fast mobilizing movie about the Boston crime kingpin just rose to the top of the most wanted list in the upcoming European Film Market in Berlin. That’s because Johnny Deep has become attached to star in the Cross Creek crime thriller Black Mass, with Barry Levinson directing him. The picture is a co-production between Cross Creek and Nigel Sinclair and Guy East’s Exclusive Media, with the two entities co-financing. Universal Pictures is aboard to release the film in the U.S. through Cross Creek’s distribution deal with the studio, and production is to begin in May.

The film will be produced by Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson, John Lesher, and Christi Dembrowski, Depp’s partner in Infinitum Nihil. Exclusive Media’s Tobin Armbrust, President Worldwide Production and Acquisitions and Cross Creek Pictures Sr. VP of Production Adam Kassan, will oversee production. Alex Walton, Exclusive Media’s President of International Sales and Distribution, will introduce Black Mass to overseas buyers at the upcoming European Film Market in Berlin.

The title of the film comes from the 2001 Dick Lehr/Gerald O’Neill New York Times bestseller Black Mass: The True Story of Read More »

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