'Black Mass' trailer: Johnny Depp sinks teeth into Whitey Bulger role

Johnny Depp is a chilling Whitey Bulger in the first trailer for 'Black Mass'

After portraying a zoot-suited wolf in "Into the Woods" and a mustachioed oddball in "Mortdecai," Johnny Depp is returning to the big screen with another physical transformation in "Black Mass" -- but this time he's deadly serious.

The first trailer for director Scott Cooper's long-gestating true-crime drama gives a chilling glimpse of Depp in character as the South Boston gangster Whitey Bulger, who enjoyed a 16-year run as both a ruthless mobster and an FBI informant.

The two-minute clip finds Depp sporting striking blue contact lenses, a receding shock of platinum hair slicked straight back and a gravelly rumble of a voice. Over dinner with a group that includes FBI supervisor John Morris (David Harbour), Bulger compliments the lawman on his steak marinade.

With a combination of flattery and persistence, Bulger finally learns the "family secret" to the recipe, a simple blend of ground garlic and soy. That's when Bulger turns menacing.

"You said to me this is a family secret, and you gave it up to me, boom, just like that," Bulger says over a montage of beatings and executions. "You were 'just saying.' Just saying gets people sent away. ... Just saying can get you buried real quick."

Bulger finally breaks the tension with a laugh and a tease, but the message is loud and clear.

The message of the trailer seems clear too -- that Depp, who has been in something of a critical and commercial slump of late, is back and ready to flex his dramatic muscle.

Warner Bros. will release "Black Mass" on Sept. 18.

Follow @ogettell on Twitter for movie news.

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
64°