Johnny Depp has been tipped to play the notorious gangster James 'Whitey' Bulger.

The actor is attached to star in Barry Levinson's thriller Black Mass, which recounts the real-life story of the South Boston criminal mastermind.

The project is being adapted from the non-fiction book of the same name which was written by Boston Globe journalists Dick Lehr and Gerald O'Neill.

Bulger was arrested in 2011 after being on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List for over a decade.

He became an FBI informant in order to take down a rival Mafia family prior to his arrest.

The infamous gangster is currently awaiting trail on 19 counts of murder, as well as drug dealing and money laundering.

Co-producer of the project Cross Creek confirmed that production on the film will begin in May.