Posted on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 by Angie Han
The bad news about Scott Cooper‘s Whitey Bulger biopic (formerly titled Black Mass) is that it’s just lost Guy Pearce. The good news is, it’s just added Benedict Cumberbatch as his replacement — and Adam Scott, Sienna Miller, and Julianne Nicholson besides.
The quartet join a star-studded cast that also includes Joel Edgerton, Dakota Johnson, Juno Temple, Rory Cochrane, Jesse Plemons, and Johnny Depp as Bulger himself. Hit the jump to learn whom the new actors are playing.
Based on the book Black Mass: Whitey Bulger, the FBI, and a Devil’s Deal by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill, Cooper’s film chronicles Whitey Bulger’s rise to power on the Boston crime scene. He uses his status as an FBI informant to get rid of his rivals. Meanwhile, his FBI handler John Connolly (Edgerton) uses the info he gets from Bulger for his own professional gain.
Bulger and Connolly’s arrangement proves mutually beneficial for a time, but then their deeds start to catch up with them. Connolly was eventually convicted of racketeering, obstruction of justice, and second-degree murder in the ’00s. Bulger went into hiding and was finally arrested in Santa Monica in 2011.
THR writes that Cumberbatch is currently in talks to take over Pearce’s former role as Billy Bulger, brother of Whitey (Depp). Pearce dropped out of the project a few weeks back for unknown reasons. Scott, who’s already closed his deal, will play an FBI agent named Robert Fitzpatrick.
Miller will portray Whitey’s longtime girlfriend Catherine Greig, who was arrested with him, and Nicholson has booked the part of John Connolly’s wife Marianne. David Harbour, Jeremy Strong, Brad Carter, W. Earl Brown, and Corey Stoll have also signed on in unspecified roles.
The film formerly titled Black Mass is shooting now in Boston. No release date has been set, but look for it to land in 2015.