With a script already redrafted, it’s just a matter of timing before Brian Oliver’s newest project ‘Black Mass,’ the story of Whitey Bulger’s life, heads into production. “It’s definitely something that we’ve been developing for awhile and we feel that it should be made,” says Oliver of his new project in an article on Collider.com.
Whitey Bulger, who was the inspiration for Jack Nicholson’s character in Martin Scorcese’s The Departed, is an infamous mob boss from south Boston. In the 1970s, he made a deal with the FBI to be an informant in exchange for protection. With the deal, Bulger was able to carry on with his criminal ways - including extortion, murder and drug trafficking - without penalty.
However, when Bulger started to use the information provided to him by the FBI in order to bolster his own criminal activity, he was found out and had to go into hiding. Ultimately, he was captured by the FBI in June.
The film will be taking the title of the book written by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill who were the duo that ultimately “blew the lid off of Bulger’s scam.” The book, which was nominated for a Pulitizer Prize, recounts Lehr’s and O’Neill’s process of bringing Bulger’s scams to light.
Producer Brian Oliver, who is also the producer of the upcoming George Clooney flick ‘The Ides of March’, is struggling with which specific aspects of Bulger’s life to focus on in order to create a comprehensive story in movie format. He says “I think we’re focusing more on after his rise in the Irish mob and being a boss, and how he basically was going down until he made this corrupt deal with the FBI...I think that’s the story that we want to tell. It’s how something like that could happen—how the FBI can become part of one of the biggest scandals in United States history.”
The next step in the process is to get a director attached to the project, which Collider.com predicts won’t be too difficult as the “stranger than fiction” tale of Whitey Bulger’s life is rather alluring.