Greg’s List: Boston actors have Bulger movie in sight

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January 19, 2012, 10:09 pm
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(NECN: Greg Wayland) – “This is who we're after -- Frank Costello.”

But now, Boston's brats of the silver screen, Matt, Ben and Mark, have bigger game in their sights.

“We are an elite unit...”

They’re on the hunt for a white whale.

It would plumb the depths of Boston's crime world, adding James Whitey Bulger to cinematic criminal legends from Johnny Rocco to Don Corleone.

Whitey Bulger, unlike the deranged and disheveled Frank Costello character allegedly modeled after him in "The Departed" was, according to the cops, a tidy and calculating sociopath who conducted business at a garage while putting anyone who crossed him under a bridge or a basement floor before he went on the run and got caught.

Now that we see him in bright orange in leg shackles, looking like an old man, the glamour and romance of his story may be gone. But Hollywood could take care of that.
           
Bulger's story is long and complicated and could open fresh wounds for victims' families if any of those Boston boys did try to glamorize it.

“Honestly, I really don't think that's the case.”

And Boston University film school chair Paul Schneider says the Bulger story is the stuff of crime epics.

“Crime stories at their best, like the Godfather, are these incredible sort of mythological, almost Greek tragedies about, you know, betrayal, and families killing each other.”

So, the Cambridge-bred duo of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who brought us “Good Will Hunting” and “The Town” are reportedly teaming up on a Whitey project.

Damon would star, Affleck would direct and Schneider says they apparently have a writer.

“The writer is a prominent writer who's got Boardwalk Empire as one of his credentials,” said Schneider.

But Dorchester-bred Mark Wahlberg struck gold in Lowell, Massachusetts last year with "The Fighter" and might be prepared to "fight" for a shot at Whitey's story.

He worked with Damon on “The Departed” but claims to know Boston's mean street better.
 
“I mean my growing up there has an effect on everything that I do.”

But Matt, while shooting “The Departed,” hinted that he was onto Whitey.

“I was dealing with subject matter and with characters that I was kind of familiar with already.”

And Matt told GQ Magazine, "the sooner it's announced, the better, just because everyone else will back off, hopefully."

Mark Wahlberg, back off?

“Maybe.”

And then again…

“Maybe not.

Meanwhile, Bulger sits in prison, waiting his trial. It’s his final act, next to, of course, death.  

When somebody may be heard to say....

“He was a big shot.”

But by then he'll be off my list, too.  But that's my list for this week.

Tags: Boston, Matt Damon, Greg Wayland, Whitey Bulger, Mark Wahlberg, Ben Affleck, Rob Schneider, gregs list
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