With a springtime gap in his schedule, Johnny Depp has signed on for Michael Mann's "Public Enemies."
The period drama, one of many pre-actors strike projects revving up at Universal, focuses on the government's attempts to stop some of the most famous criminals of the Depression era.
Depp will play Public Enemy No. 1 John Dillinger in the film, which will also feature real-life characters including Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd, as well as FBI head J. Edgar Hoover.
Mann wrote the script based on the 2004 book by Bryan Burroughs, according to Variety.
"Public Enemies" is a film of convenience for both Mann and Depp. The director had been eying a possible reunion with "Collateral" co-star Tom Cruise on Columbia's "Edwin Salt." Depp, meanwhile, had expected to shoot Mira Nair's "Shantaram." When script, budget and monsoon concerns put the Depp film on hold, "Public Enemies" became a more tangible possibility.
Depp's latest film, the musical "Sweeney Todd," is generating Oscar buzz in advance of its holiday season release. "Sweeney Todd" is Depp's first film outside of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise since 2005's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
Johnny Depp Will Make 'Public Enemies'
Michael Mann will direct Depp as John Dillinger
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