Johnny Depp exits Barry Levinson’s BLACK MASS

Johnny Depp won’t be playing Boston gangster Whitey Bulger after all; multiple sources report that the deal for Johnny to star in Barry Levinson’s Black Mass fell apart on Wednesday due to budget-cutting. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Johnny agreed to play the role at his usual quote of $20 million, but when the producers “were looking to trim the budget, in the high $60 million range,” Johnny was asked to cut his salary in half, “and the actor and his reps at UTA refused.” A Black Mass producer is disputing a widely-reported media claim that sales of the project at Cannes were “on the soft side,” necessitating the budget cuts, claiming instead that the sales “were on target and that most territories were sold.”

Black Mass was set to begin shooting on August 5, 2013 in Boston; now it appears that Johnny will segue from Wally Pfister’s Transcendence (due to shoot into July) into Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods.

The Zone thanks Lou Lou 63 and Emma for breaking the news; you can read more on the Zone’s News & Views forum. The Hollywood Reporter article is available HERE.

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