Sweeping Culture Daily

SPOTLIGHT: Sweeping Culture Daily

In Five: Johnny Depp Joins the Mob, “Warm Bodies” Leads Dismal Weekend Box-Office, and More Culture News

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1. Johnny Depp is joining the criminal underworld. The actor is attached to star in “Black Mass,” in which he will play infamous Boston-based gangster Whitey Bulger. The film, directed by Barry Levinson, will be competing against a similar Whitey Bulger biopic in production from Boston natives Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Bulger was captured in 2011 at age 81. He is currently in prison awaiting trial on allegations that he participated in 19 murders. [Hollywood Reporter]

2. A dismal weekend box-office saw teen zombie movie “Warm Bodies” lead the pack with $20 million in ticket sales, with “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” and horror thriller “Mama” trailing behind. The biggest loser of the week financially was “Bullet to the Head,” the Walter Hill-directed, Sylvester Stallone-starring action flick, which brought in $4.5 million. [Artsbeat]

3. Lily Rabe (“American Horror Story”) is set to star in a new adaptation of August Strindberg’s “Miss Julie” at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. The adaptation was written by Neil LaBute and directed by Jo Bonney, with Laura Heisner and Chris Messina rounding out the cast. LaBute’s work moves the 19th-century play to Long Island just before the stock market crash of 1929. Preview performances begin on April 29. [LA Times]

4. Steven Soderbergh may be retiring, but his projects will live on. Writer Scott Z. Burns, Soderbergh’s frequent collaborator, says he hopes to bring the “Contagion” to television screens in the future. “I think it may have a life there,” Burns said in an interview. The film’s multiple viewpoints and ensemble cast would fit well over a long television season, where you could flesh out each character’s story. Burns and Soderbergh recently worked together on “Side Effects,” which is out in theaters next weekend. [The Playlist]

5. Recently reunited Brit-pop legends Pulp made their first television appearance in a decade, appearing on UK talk show “The Jonathan Ross Show” this weekend. The band performed their new, James Murphy-produced single “After You,” assisted by a serious laser show. Unfortunately, this may be the last we hear from them: singer Jarvis Cocker recently announced that the band is not writing any new music and the reunion will most likely end soon. [Pitchfork]

Previously: Denzel Washington, Lena Dunham, Paul Taylor, “The Americans,” Yo La Tengo

Image: Johnny Depp/Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

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