Johnny Depp has a new brother. As first reported by The Boston Globe, Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, The Fifth Estate, Star Trek Into Darkness) has been brought on board to replace Guy Pearce in the role of William Bulger, the politician brother of the infamous Whitey Bulger, being played by Depp (Transcendence) in the movie about the Boston mobster who was caught in Santa Monica, California back in 2011. According to producer Brian Oliver, the switch was made because of scheduling conflicts involving Pearce.
In addition to Cumberbatch, an impressive list of names have recently been cast alongside Depp, including Adam Scott (Parks & Recreation) , Sienna Miller (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra), Juno Temple (The Dark Knight Rises), and Jesse Plemons (Friday Night Lights), fresh off of his well-received performance as Todd in the final season of Breaking Bad. Also joining the star-studded cast is Cumberbatch’s August: Osage County co-star Julianne Nicholson (Boardwalk Empire). As reported previously on mxdwn Movies, these new names join the already strong pedigree of Depp, Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby), and director Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace, Crazy Heart).
The project, formerly titled Black Mass, is based on the book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill, and is currently in production, to be released by Warner Bros. in 2015. It will chronicle the rise and fall of ruthless mobster Whitey Bulger, who spent years as the head of The Winter Hill Gang in south Boston before going on the lam for 16 years. A rival project to be directed by Ben Affleck and starring his pal and fellow Boston-ite Matt Damon is also in the works, but is still in development and will almost definitely be beat to the screen by Depp and company.