A movie and television series about infamous mobster James “Whitey” Bulger have been announced. Bulger was found guilty of murder and racketeering in August of this year.
According to Deadline.com, Ben Affleck plans to direct a movie for Warner Bros about the mobster. Matt Damon is rumored to play Bulger. Affleck may also star in the film along with his brother Casey Affleck. The three last starred together in “Good Will Hunting” for which Affleck and Damon shared an Oscar for their screenplay.
Warner Bros is working on a deal with Aaron Stockard to work on the script. Stockard previously worked with Affleck on “The Town” and “Gone Baby Gone.” His work will focus on Bulger’s trial and conviction. Work on the script was started by “Boardwalk Empire” creator and writer Terrence Winter. The film will cover Bulger’s youth, rise to mob boss, and incarceration on Alcatraz.
A television series was also announced. Fox is creating a limited series about the life of Eddie Mackenzie who was close to Whitey. The project is based on Mackenzie’s book “Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer.” Tickle the Wire reported that the series would look at Mackenzie’s “life as an enforcer for the notorious crime boss Whitey Bulger details how he was able to extricate himself from Whitey’s gang without getting himself killed.” "Twilight" actor Peter Facinelli is rumored to star in the series.
These projects are not the first proposed visual adaptations of Bulger’s life. A Cross Creek/ Exclusive Media project titled “Black Mass” is reorganizing itself after Johnny Depp dropped out. At that time, Barry Levinson was going to direct and Joel Edgerton was considering a role. Depp’s departure has delayed production until February and it is unclear whether Levinson’s schedule to direct “The Cursed Piano” will conflict with “Black Mass.”
The 2006 film “The Departed” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg and Alec Baldwin is based on Bulger’s life. Jack Nicholson plays Boston Irish mobster Frank Costello who works with law enforcement to sell out other mobsters while planting his own informant in the police department.
Born in 1929, Bulger ran organized crime in Boston in the 1970’s and 80’s. After decade of working as an informant to the FBI, he fled Boston in 1994. Bulger was arrested after a sixteen year manhunt by the FBI in Santa Monica in California in 2011. His trial began in June 2013. After a two month trial Bulger was found guilty of federal racketeering, extortion, conspiracy, and 11 murders.