Johnny Depp to star as Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger

Johnny Depp waves during the photo session at the press conference on his latest movie, 'Dark Shadow' in Tokyo on May 13, 2012. Depp and film director Tim Burton held the press conference one day after its Japan Premier. TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/GettyImages

Johnny Depp is going back to the mob. He first played John Dillinger in 2009's "Public Enemies," and now he's set to portray another real-life gangster.

Depp will star as South Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger in an upcoming film about the life of the former alleged criminal and FBI informant turned fugitive.

The movie will be based on the 2001 book "Black Mass: The Irish Mob, The FBI and a Devil's Deal" by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill, which chronicles Bulger's rise to power from a street thug to the head of Boston's criminal underworld. Bulger also allegedly provided information to the FBI during his time as boss of the so-called Winter Hill Gang.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Black Mass" will be directed by veteran Barry Levinson, known for films like "Rain Man" and "Diner." The project is expected to begin shooting in May.

Bulger's story has already served as the basis for another feature film. Martin Scorsese's 2006 gangster drama, "The Departed," which nabbed a Best Picture Oscar, starred Jack Nicholson in a role based on Bulger.

As a fugitive, Bulger spent more than 16 years on the run and even found his way on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list, before finally being arrested in June, 2011, in Santa Monica, Calif. The 83-year-old Bulger faces a trial in June over 19 counts of murder.

Depp will next be seen on the big screen July 3, as sidekick Tonto in the "Lone Ranger" remake, with Armie Hammer in the title role.

Tell us: Do you think Depp is a good fit to play Bulger?

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    Ken Lombardi is an entertainment reporter for CBS News. He has interviewed over 300 celebrities, including Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks.

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