Johnny Depp Confirmed For Wally Pfister’s ‘Transcendence’ and Barry Levinson’s ‘Black Mass;’ ‘Pirates 5’ Nowhere in Sight
Posted on Thursday, February 28th, 2013 by Germain Lussier
One of the most popular and in-demand actors in Hollywood has just scheduled the rest of his year, with one glaring omission. Johnny Depp will now officially star in Transendence, the mysterious sci-fi directorial debut of Wally Pfister, best known for his work with Christopher Nolan. From there he’ll star in Barry Levinson‘s Black Mass, a true-crime drama. He was previously rumored for both roles.
Transcendence shoots in April, Black Mass will shoot over the summer, and with a healthy dose of press for his new film, The Lone Ranger, peppered in, Depp is going to be a very busy man. One film not mentioned in his upcoming slate is Pirates of the Caribbean 5, a film that’s been given a July 2015 release date by Disney and has been in its script stage for some time. With Depp’s schedule all but booked for the next nine months or so, it seems unlikely that movie could shoot until next year. Read more about all the projects below.
Deadline broke the official news of Depp’s upcoming projects. (Read the press release at the bottom of this piece.)
Transcendence already has that whole “Christopher Nolan mystery” about it but some plot details have been leaked. According to producers, “the plot involves a scientist whose brain gets uploaded into a supercomputer with the aim of creating the world’s first machine that can think for itself.” Depp plays the scientist, of course. From there, more details have been release but they’re kind of spoilery. Click here to read, if you’d like.
Black Mass will have Depp playing Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger, in a story based on the book: Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob, written by Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill. Here’s the description:
John Connolly and James “Whitey” Bulger grew up together on the tough streets of South Boston. Decades later in the mid-1970s, they met again. By then, Connolly was a major figure in the FBI’s Boston office and Whitey had become godfather of the Irish Mob. Connolly had an idea, a scheme that might bring Bugler into the FBI fold and John Connolly into the Bureau’s big leagues. But Bulger had other plans. Compellingly told by two former Boston Globe reporters who were on the case from the beginning, Black Mass is the chilling true story of what happened between them—a dark deal that spiraled out of control, leading to drug dealing, racketeering, and murder.
Both films sound different, interesting, and from really talented filmmakers.
Oh, right, Pirates 5. Depp is a machine when it comes to work so, if the script for Pirates of the Caribbean 5 is deemed worthy when he finishes Black Mass, there’s certainly a chance it could shoot by the end of the year. One would imagine though, Depp will take some time off after roughly 7 months of straight work. If anything, a shoot in 2014 would certainly still line Pirates 5 up for it’s initial July 10, 2015 release date and provide even more time for the script to be tightened.
Here’s the full press release on Depp’s 2013 schedule:
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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.
The film will be produced by Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson along with John Lesher via his Le Grisbi Productions and Nigel Sinclair and Guy East’s Exclusive Media, with Cross Creek and Exclusive Media co-financing.
Depp will next be seen starring in Disney’s big screen adaptation of The Lone Ranger directed by Gore Verbinski and debuting July 3, 2013. The film is produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Verbinski along with Depp and Christi Dembrowski’s Infinitum Nihil banner. Infinitum Nihil’s credits also includeHugo, Dark Shadows and The Rum Diary.