‘Black Mass’ Footage Premieres To Rave Reception, Johnny Depp Lauded As Whitey Bulger, Is Actor Back On Track?

The first footage for Black Mass has premiered at CinemaCon to rave reviews, and it’s the biggest indication yet that Johnny Depp’s recent cinematic slump is finally set to abate.

In Black Mass, Johnny Depp will portray the Boston based gangster Whitey Bulger, and director Scott Cooper has insisted that his portrayal is one “for the ages.”

Depp wasn’t in attendance at CinemaCon’s Warner Bros. panel on Tuesday. However, critical reception to the footage has been hugely positive, and this reaction has increased anticipation ahead of the film’s September 18 release date.

Some of the first images of Johnny Depp’s incarnation of Whitey Bulger in Black Mass have emerged, while we also get a good look at Benedict Cumberbatch’s William “Billy” Bulger, Dakota Johnson’s Lindsey Cyr, and Kevin Bacon’s Charles McGuire, too.

According to IB Times, Cooper also spoke about his pride for the movie, while he praised all of the actors involved in the project, calling them “great.”

“I couldn’t be more proud,” Cooper exclaimed.”I am certain that it is one that will move you.” Speaking about Bulger, who also inspired Jack Nicholson’s gangster in The Departed, Cooper noted, “He could be charming. He could be ruthless. He was like a cobra – you never knew where he could strike.

Johnny Depp is in need of a both a box office and critical success. His most recent effort, Mortdecai, bombed at the box office and was heavily chastised by critics, while Transcendence also lost money and Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was ravaged by reviewers, but still managed to gross over a billion dollars.

White Bulger was the head of Boston’s Winter Hill Gang. He was finally caught in 2011 in Santa Monica, California, after 16-years on the run. He was subsequently found guilty of 11 counts of murder and 31 other offences, and is currently serving two consecutive life terms. He was able to avoid prison because he had FBI agent John Connolly on his payroll, too. Connolly was sentenced to 30 years in prison for assisting Bulger.

[Image via Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]