Magnolia Pictures has acquired U.S. theatrical, VOD and home entertainment rights to the documentary “Whitey: United States of America V. James J. Bulger.”
The film, which premiered at Sundance in January, centers on Irish gangster Whitey Bulger and the massive law enforcement corruption he controlled in Boston.
Joe Berlinger directed “Whitey,” produced by RadicalMedia for CNN Films.
Magnolia plans a day and date theatrical and on demand release in June, followed by a broadcast on CNN later this year. Magnolia and CNN also partnered on “Blackfish” and Roger Ebert doc “Life Itself,” also being released this summer.
Warner Bros. came on board last month to co-finance Bulger biopic “Black Mass” with Johnny Depp starring and Scott Cooper directing.
Bulger, the head of Boston’s Winter Hill Gang, was captured in Santa Monica in 2011 after being on the lam for 16 years. Bulger fled authorities in Boston just before he was indicted in 1995 for federal racketeering. He was found guilty last year on 31 counts, covering 11 murders, and was sentenced to two consecutive life terms plus five years for his crimes.
Berlinger said that the documentary includes interviews with Bulger.
“The filmmaking team worked very hard to gain unprecedented access, including to Bulger himself who has never before agreed to appear in any media, so we are especially delighted to be partnering with the two companies — Magnolia and CNN — that know how to reach the widest possible audience,” he said.
The deal was negotiated for Magnolia by Dori Begley with Cinetic Media on behalf of the filmmakers and CNN Films.