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Casting Net: Johnny Depp commits to 'Black Mass' and Pfister's 'Transcendence'; Plus, Tom Hardy in PTSD film, and Bradley Cooper

Johnny Depp fans, get excited. The actor has committed to his next two projects: Wally Pfister’s sci-fi thriller Transcendence, and Barry Levinson’s Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass, both of which he’d been circling for a while. Transcendence will be the directorial debut for Pfister, an Oscar-winning cinematographer (for Inception in 2011), who has been Christopher Nolan’s go-to since Memento. The details of the project remain sparse, but the logline teases that the film is about a scientist who has his brain uploaded into a computer. Depp will go straight from Transcendence to Black Mass, based on the true crime book Black Mass: The Irish Mob, The FBI and A Devil’s Deal by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill. Depp will portray the real-life former Boston mob boss and FBI informant, Whitey Bulger, who is still very much alive. [Variety]

• Tom Hardy is set to develop and star in the post traumatic stress disorder drama Samarkand, about a British soldier attempting to readjust to society after serving in the Middle East. Photographer Greg Williams wrote the script with his brother Olly, and will make his feature debut directing the project. Williams directed Hardy in the short film Sergeant Slaughter, My Big Brother (available here) about a man (Hardy) who decides to run away to join the French Foreign League. [Deadline]

Best Actor nominee Bradley Cooper has committed to producing and starring in an English-language remake of the 2011 German film Kokowääh. He’s also reportedly considering whether or not to direct the project. The original film was directed by and starred Til Schweiger (Hugo Stiglitz in Inglorious Basterds) as a writer who discovers that he has an 8-year-old daughter. The film follows his work, his burgeoning relationship with his daughter (and her foster father), and his attempts to reconcile with his ex-girlfriend and writing partner. The script is currently undergoing a re-write. [Deadline]

PREVIOUSLY: Chris Cooper is Norman Osborn in ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2′ 

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