johnny-deppAs anticipated by Variety, US director Scott Cooper’s “Black Mass” toplining Johnny Depp, will world premiere at the 72nd Venice Film Festival, out-of-competition, the fest has announced. “Black Mass” will screen on Friday September 4th in the Sala Grande venue in the Lido’s Palazzo del Cinema. “Black Mass,” which Warner Bros. will release in the US on September 18, is a biopic of Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, played by Depp, who became an FBI informant and used this status to eliminate criminal competition during the 1970s, ‘80s, and early ‘90s.

The Italian release is scheduled for October 1. Pic also stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Kevin Bacon, Joel Edgerton and Peter Sarsgaard, making for a hefty dose of star power likely to be disembarking on the Lido. “Black Mass” is produced by John Lesher, Brian Oliver, Scott Cooper, Patrick McCormick, and Tyler Thompson, with Brett Ratner, James Packer, Peter Mallouk, Ray Mallouk, Christopher Woodrow, Brett Granstaff, Gary Granstaff, Phil Hunt and Compton Ross serving as executive producers.

The screenplay is by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth (“Get on Up,” “Edge of Tomorrow”) based on the book by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill. As previously announced, Baltasar Kormakur’s mountain climbing thriller “Everest” from Universal, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, will open Venice September 2, also out-of-competition. The Venice Film Festival will run September 2-12. — Reuters