Last night at CinemaCon, attendees got a sneak peek at Black Mass, the highly-anticipated new film from director Scott Cooper, which tells the story of notorious criminal Whitey Bulger. Johnny Depp plays the role of Bulger, trading in his silly hats for a bald cap in the new crime drama, which certainly looks like a step in the right direction for the actor.

Early word out of CinemaCon suggests that Depp may very well impress us in the role of Bulger, and you can get your first look at the actor in character via the new image from EW (full version below). Bulger was a longstanding crime boss and informant for the FBI, who carried out his crimes all over Boston until he was finally apprehended in 2011. If that sounds familiar at all, that’s because Bulger inspired Jack Nicholson’s character in Martin Scorsese’s The Departed.

Depp could certainly use some goodwill, following misguided and laughably terrible roles in films like Tusk, Mortdecai and Transcendence. The once acclaimed actor has been sliding in recent years, and Black Mass looks like it has the potential to turn things around.

Writer/director Scott Cooper, who previously delivered Crazy Heart and Out of the Furnace, helms the film, which also stars Dakota Johnson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Juno Temple, Corey Stoll, Adam Scott, Kevin Bacon, Jesse Plemons and Peter Sarsgaard. That’s a rather impressive cast.

Black Mass hits theaters on September 18.

EW / Warner Bros.
EW / Warner Bros.