Fresh from what should be a star-making turn as Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Of Grey, Dakota Johnson is in early talks to play the love interest of Johnny Depp’s Whitey Bulger character in the Scott Cooper-directed Black Mass. Bulger has a couple of women in his life, but Johnson will play Lindsey, his girlfriend and the mother of his 6-year-old son Douglas, who dies tragically. The film is coming together quickly with Warner Bros distributing worldwide with Depp as Bulger, and Joel Edgerton as disgraced FBI agent John Connolly, who grew up with Bulger and was alleged to have tipped him off when the feds were closing in, leading Bulger to go on the lam for a decade until he was finally caught. Guy Pearce will play Bill Bulger, brother of the mobster who was president of the Massachusetts Senate and a major power broker in town.
Johnson, who is the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, is expected to return for what will be three and possibly four movies made from the E.L. James book. The first film, which also stars Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey, will be released by Universal and Focus Features on February 15, 2015. Taking a strong dramatic role opposite Depp seems like a good next step for the actress. She’s repped by WME and Management 360.
Channel 4’s New Worlds has seen another drop in ratings for its second episode, with the historical drama plummeting to below 500,000 viewers.
All the elements for a hit series are there. The all-action historical drama is a follow up to 2008 favourite The Devil’s Whore, but this time the drama is moved to the turbulent setting of the1680s as two young men and two young women adapt to the changing world on both sides of the Atlantic.
Written and created by Peter Flannery and Martine Brant the lavish drama stars a quartet of up and coming talent including Fifty Shades of Grey hunk Dornan, Alice Englert, Joe Dempsie and Skins star Freya Mavor.
Despite the talented cast and a huge amount of hype (largely down to the Fifty Shades fever that surrounds Dornan), the four part series has so far failed to capture strong viewing figures.
The second episode, which aired this Tuesday, slipped even further than last week’s debut, with Channel 5 and BBC Three both pulling in bigger audiences. Last week’s audience of 668,000 plummeted to just 411,000 viewers, that’s a 2% share.
Cheaper to produce reality shows like BBC Three’s Hair have been beating the lavish drama in the ratings, which equals more bad news for the pricey production.
The reviews haven’t been favourable either. The clunky script and plodding pace have put off both critics and even hardcore Dornan devotees.
With the Telegraph pointing out “the adolescent quality to the writing”, while the Guardian couldn’t get past “a script and direction that clunked along lamely”, it seems even the draw of Jamie isn’t enough to sustain the four part drama, let alone make it worthy of a second series.