So far actor-turned-filmmaker Scott Cooper has directed Jeff Bridges to his first Oscar (2009's “Crazy Heart”) and arguably shepherded Christian Bale to his finest performance to date (2013's “Out of the Furnace”). With the upcoming “Black Mass,” depicting the life and times of Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger, it looks like he's dragged Johnny Depp from the funk of franchise dreck to what could be one of the most towering performances of the actor's career.
At least, that's the vibe I'm getting from a tightly assembled trailer for the film, which uses just one scene to showcase the vibe and presence Depp is putting out there as Bulger. As soon as the frame opens on those blue contacts…wow. I'm pretty excited for the look of this thing, too, as cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi killed it on “Furnace” and is one of the best in the game right now. This one looks like it drips with the same brooding atmosphere as that.
Warner Bros. currently has the film slated for a September release, so a Toronto Film Festival bow is certainly possible. The Telluride Film Festival was interested in both “Crazy Heart” and “Out of the Furnace,” and WB has seen luck there with “Argo” and “Gravity” (as did “Black Mass” producer John Lesher with “Birdman” last year), so that's potentially on the table, too. Either way, if a successful showcase at CinemaCon this week didn't already do the trick, this trailer problem should: Put Depp on your Oscar longlists.
Check out the “Black Mass” trailer embedded above.