Johnny to play gangster

Johnny Depp will star as notorious 1930s gangster John Dillinger in Universal's Public Enemies. Michael Mann will direct from his own script, based on Bryan Burrough’s 2004 book of the same name. The drama is set in 1933-34, when the government’s attempts to stop Depression-era criminals like John Dillilnger, Baby Face Nelson, and Pretty Boy Floyd transformed J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI into the country’s first federal police force. Shooting is scheduled to start in Chicago on March 10. Mann was considering several projects, including a reunion with Tom Cruise (Collateral) on Edwin A. Salt at Columbia. He ultimately went with Public Enemies when Depp became available after Warner Bros. postponed Shantaram over costs and writers' strike concerns.