Festival season is heating up with the announcement of the biopic Black Mass making an out-of-competition world premiere on September 4th at this year’s Venice International Film Festival. The gangster drama, starring Johnny Depp as notorious mobster Whitey Bulger, is also scheduled to make its Canadian premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival later in the month.
The film, featuring a strong ensemble cast that includes Joel Edgerton (The Gift), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Dakota Johnson (50 Shades of Grey), Peter Sarsgaard (the upcoming Magnificent Seven remake), and Kevin Bacon (the upcoming Cop Car), tells the tale of Bulger, a one-time bigwig in the Boston Irish mob, who strikes a deal as an FBI informant in an attempt to loosen the Italian Mafia’s hold on the city. The relationship between Bulger and the Feds spirals wildly out of control, enabling Bulger to rise to greater power in the crime-based organization and eventually allowing him to evade capture by the agents he had allied himself with.
Black Mass is directed by Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace). The script was co-written by first-timer Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth (Edge of Tomorrow), from the book by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill.
After its festival run, Black Mass is scheduled for a September 18th release in U.S. theaters.