Actor Johnny Depp is set to take on the role of convicted murderer Whitey Bulger in crime drama Black Mass.

The 50-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean star, who entered negotiations to take on the leading role last year, has officially signed up for the part.

Deadline further report that Tom Hardy is in "early talks" for the part of John Connolly, the FBI agent and childhood friend of Bulger, who helped him with his disappearance.

Filmmaker Scott Cooper is on board to direct, while Cross Creek’s Brian Oliver and Tyler Thompson will produce the movie alongside John Lesher and Christi Dembrowski.

Black Mass tells true story of Billy Bulger, Whitey Bulger, FBI agent John Connelly and the FBI's witness protection program that was created by J. Edgar Hoover.

Production is scheduled for May 2014.