Black Mass (2015) Poster



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Many of the murder scenes were shot in the locations where the real-life murders took place.
Johnny Depp tried multiple times to speak to James 'Whitey' Bulger while preparing for the role, to which Bulger declined.
In order to ensure that Johnny Depp's performance was true to the actual James 'Whitey' Bulger, Scott Cooper hired some of Bulger's old associates as consultants to the film with each of them praising Depp's performance by simply saying, "That's Whitey."
In an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2003), Johnny Depp admitted that he broke his rule of not watching his own movies with this one. He was at the film's debut in Venice. He was about to skip out of watching the film, but the director Scott Cooper asked him to stay, so he did.
Johnny Depp said that this is his favorite out of all the films he has done.
On its opening weekend, Black Mass grossed $22,769,179. 10% of that gross came from the Boston area alone.
In an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! (2003), Johnny Depp stated that he picked up his Boston accent for the film from hanging out with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry.
Despite filming a substantial amount of scenes as Catherine Greig, Sienna Miller's role was cut for pacing reasons.
Upon seeing Black Mass, the real Kevin Weeks took issue with the film as a whole, calling this a "work of fiction". He later ripped into Johnny Depp's portrayal of James 'Whitey' Bulger as well as the portrayal of Stephen Flemmi by Rory Cochrane and the portrayal of himself by Jesse Plemons, stating that the performances were "way off". He also took issue with the film showing his character involved in crimes he vehemently denies being involved in.
Johnny Depp left the project due to salary issues. He later returned in the lead role.
Guy Pearce was originally cast as William Bulger but dropped out of the project for undisclosed reasons.
Johnny Depp's fourth role playing a real-life gangster, in this case James 'Whitey' Bulger. He portrayed Joseph D. Pistone in Donnie Brasco (1997), George Jung in Blow (2001), and John Dillinger in Public Enemies (2009).
Jesse Plemons gained weight for his role as Kevin Weeks and was subsequently asked by the producers of the television series Fargo (2014), his next project, to keep the weight on, as he portrays a character who is a butcher by profession.
Revere Beach in Revere, Massachusetts, just north of Boston, was transformed into Miami Beach for the Miami scenes. Filmmakers added real palm trees to the beach and dressed up a local pizzeria to look like a Cuban café.
William Bulger, president of the Massachusetts State Senate, is so short that one of his critics labeled him a "corrupt midget" during a rant. Benedict Cumberbatch is eight inches taller than the real-life William Bulger.
The beating of John McIntyre, shown in most promotional spots, was ultimately cut from the film.
According to Scott Cooper, the original run time for the film was close to three hours, but this was cut down due to pacing issues.
The word "fuck" is said 254 times throughout the film.
The project was shelved after Johnny Depp dropped out. After Depp agreed to return, Joel Edgerton was unavailable. Edgerton returned in the role in the end.
The title of this movie, "Black Mass," has several meanings. The main meaning of the term "black mass" is a ritual in witchcraft or satanism that is an inversion of the Catholic Church's traditional Mass for the purposes of evil instead of good. One of the things that nearly all of the criminals depicted in this movie (including the Irish mobsters, the Italian mafiosi with whom they were feuding, and FBI agent John Connolly, who was abetting Bulger) had in common was that they were Catholics, even though their murderous activities were in direct opposition to the values taught by the Catholic Church. The title is also a play on the color-themed nickname of its main character (Whitey Bulger), as well as a nod to the corruption endemic to the city and state in which the story is set (Mass. is an abbreviation for Massachusetts).
Margot Robbie turned down the role of Lindsey Cyr due to scheduling conflicts. Jennifer Lawrence was later approached for the role which she also turned down due to scheduling conflicts with Joy (2015). Anna Kendrick, Felicity Jones, Blake Lively, Scarlett Johansson and Anne Hathaway were all considered for the role. Dakota Johnson was later cast.
Leonardo DiCaprio's influence may have contributed to director Scott Coopers interest in taking on this project, since DiCaprio had helped produce Cooper's previous movie Out of the Furnace (2013), and had starred in The Departed (2006), which is based on a James 'Whitey' Bulger-like character in Boston.
Tom Hardy had been considered for the role of John Connolly, but dropped out and was replaced by Joel Edgerton.
Cult icon Mark Mahoney was cast as Mickey Maloney without reading or auditioning for the role on the strength of his performance in Blood Ties (2013). The famous Venice Beach tattooer, scenester and owner of the Shamrock Social Club was "audacious, to say the least" (according to executive producer James Packer) in regards to the remuneration he demanded for his relatively minor role. Director Scott Cooper insisted that an agreement was to be reached with Mahoney - partly because he was frustrated by constant difficulties securing, then losing, then (for the most part) re-securing key cast members, and partly because "the amount of money he demanded and the manner in which he demanded it was in someways the best audition I've ever seen!.. it reminded me why I wanted him for the part in the first place!" Cooper allegedly quipped on set. In his downtime during shooting, Mahoney would set up and put a shamrock tattoo on any member of the cast and crew who wanted one.
In an early scene, Benedict Cumberbatch references an incident that happens on Baker Street. Cumberbatch is perhaps best known for playing Sherlock Holmes, who lives at 221B Baker Street, on the television series Sherlock (2010).
Johnny Depp and Rory Cochrane both starred in Public Enemies (2009), with Depp playing another famous gangster, John Dillinger.
This is the second Boston based film that Kevin Bacon has played a law enforcement officer. The first being Mystic River (2003) in which he plays state police officer 'Sean Devine'.
This is the second time that Benedict Cumberbatch and Julianne Nicholson star in a movie together. They were previously in August: Osage County (2013).
Sienna Miller (Catherine Greig) played the role of Tippi Hedren in The Girl (2012). Hedren is the grandmother of Dakota Johnson (Lindsey Cyr).
This is the second movie to feature Benedict Cumberbatch and Juno Temple in supporting roles. The first was Atonement.
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Corey Stoll plays a district attorney who is hunting for agents who have made a questionable deal with an FBI informant. In the fourth season of Homeland (2011), Stoll himself played a CIA operative who made illegal deals with local informants.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

When he was arrested in 2011, James 'Whitey' Bulger had been on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for 12 years. The $2 million reward the FBI offered for information leading to his capture was larger than that for any other fugitive on the list except Osama bin Laden.
The ending of the film briefly shows the capture of James 'Whitey' Bulger, and it's factually correct. Living under the alias Charlie Gasko, Bulger was arrested in the parking garage of the Princess Eugenia Apartments in Santa Monica, California on June 22, 2011. According to FBI agent Scott Gareola, Bulger immediately put his hands in the air. When he was ordered to get on his knees, Bulger replied, "I ain't getting down on my fucking knees." He was wearing white pants, and reportedly did not want to dirty them on the oil-stained garage floor.
During production, the real-life John Connolly's accessory to murder conviction was overturned. However, this was reinstated in 2015.
Various Boston-based gangsters were omitted from the movie. For instance, there is no mention of Howie Winter, James 'Whitey' Bulger's boss, who was arrested in 1979. Another key, criminal associate left out was Kevin O'Neil, the owner of Triple O's Lounge who laundered money for the gang. Perhaps the biggest omission was Patrick Nee, an arms trafficker, who got Bulger involved with the IRA and was also involved with the murders of John McIntyre, Brian Halloran, and Michael Donahue.
Joel Edgerton chose not to meet the character he played, John Connolly, because he was aware that Connolly's version of events differed drastically from the way they were portrayed in the film. "I felt like even if there was a possibility of me going to see John, something would have felt slightly unfair - the idea of me strutting into prison to learn from John, knowing that he has one version of events and the film has a different version."
Joe McDonald and Jimmy Sims, who were charter members of the Winter Hill Gang, were not portrayed or mentioned in the movie, despite taking part in the murders of Roger Wheeler and John Callahan.
The Roger Wheeler murder scene was filmed at a country club in Concord, Massachusetts, which was a stand-in for Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Body Count: 9.

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