A number of reports came in overnight that Johnny Depp may no longer be starring in Black Mass, about Boston mob kingpin Whitey Bulger, which was to be directed by Barry Levinson.
Apparently the troubles arose over a salary dispute. According to The Hollywood Reporter, sales of the film were soft at the Cannes Film Festival and the producers at Cross Creek and Exclusive Media were looking to trim the budget of the movie down to $60 million, but the actor and his reps refused to cut the actor’s normal rate of $20 million in half to make the independently-funded film work.
The movie co-stars Australian actor Joel Edgerton as FBI agent John Connolly with whom Bulger had a close relationship.
This news comes shortly after the announcement of directors for Pirates of the Caribbean 5, which will once again star Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. That already has a release date set for July 10, 2015.
UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter has now confirmed that Depp has, indeed, departed Black Mass. Check back for details on his replacement as soon as they become available.
(Photo source: Dan Jackman / WENN.com)