The first trailer for Black Mass has been released, and the internet is already awash with superlatives for the clip and Johnny Depp’s performance. But while there’s no denying the fact that Black Mass’ trailer is stylish and thrilling, it also appears to have been heavily influenced by one of the greatest gangster films of all time.
For those of you who haven’t seen the trailer for Black Mass yet, you can do so below.
Pretty thrilling stuff. But if you’ve got the nagging feeling that you’ve seen this scene, or something remarkably similar to it, before, then that’s because you have. Just watch below.
Warning: The scene below does feature quite a few expletives, so those of you who are easily offended should proceed with caution.
The scene above is from Martin Scorsese’s 1990 classic Goodfellas, and while there are obvious differences, Black Mass appears to have taken its cue from this iconic scene, which was allegedly improvised by Pesci and Liotta during filming before it was then inserted into the script.
Both scenes from Black Mass and Goodfellas showcase how cordial, funny, and warming gangsters can instantly turn into bona-fide psychotics that are truly terrifying, before then turning back into apparently nice individuals moments later.
Black Mass’ first trailer gives us our first real glimpse of Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger, the infamous Boston-based gangster who was also an informant for the FBI. Bulger is also the brother of former President of the Massachusetts Senate Billy Bulger, while he spent 16 years on the run before he was finally arrested in June, 2011. He was ultimately convicted on 31 counts, which included 11 murders, and is currently serving two consecutive life sentences in a Florida penitentiary.
Black Mass is directed by Crazy Heart’s filmmaker, Scott Cooper, from a script by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth, and Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, Joel Edgerton, Jesse Plemons, Sienna Miller, and Dakota Johnson will star alongside Johnny Depp. Black Mass is due out September 18, 2015.
Black Mass’ homage to Goodfellas is rather timely, too, because 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of the release of the iconic gangster picture, which is roundly regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. In fact, to commemorate this occasion, a special screening of Goodfellas is being held at the Beacon Theatre in New York City on Saturday, April 25. It will also be followed by a Q&A session that will be hosted by The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart and will be attended by Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Ray Liotta, and Lorraine Bracco.