Johnny Depp is reportedly out of "Black Mass,"
the Cross Creek and Exclusive Media's biopic of Boston gangster Whitey Bulger for director Barry Levinson, after a contract dispute.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Depp was slated to make his usual $20 million for the films, but with sales for the project with Levinson at the Cannes Film Festival on the soft side, producers were looking to trim the budget.
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Producers were looking to trim the budget by more than $60 million. They asked Depp to take a pay cut – half of his $20 million, according to sources, and the actor and his reps at United Talent Agency refused. The situation came to a crux Wednesday.
The movie was to have been Depp's follow-up to "Transcendence," the sci-fi Alcon project he is currently shooting.
Though Cross Creek and Exclusive hope to salvage "Black Mass" by hiring another actor, it is unclear how Depp's exit will affect the involvement of Joel Edgerton, who recently became attached to play a disgraced FBI agent, according to THR.
"Black Mass" is one of several Whitey Bulger projects in the works, with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon looking to put their own film together. Peter Facinelli is also reportedly adapting "Street Soldier: My Life as an Enforcer for Whitey Bulger and the Boston Irish Mob."
UTA had no comment when contacted.
Depp will next be seen in "The Lone Ranger," which opens July 3 in North America.
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