Maybe. But we prefer to think it's merely Billy Crudup pretending to be the legendary crimebuster who dogged John Dillinger to his bloody death in 1934. Don't forget, Billy was a super "Elephant Man" on stage--so why shouldn't he be red-hot and rabid Hoover on screen? He just has to do something about that smile. Read below for details on "Public Enemies," Michael Mann's new bio-thriller, due for release on 7/1/09.


PUBLIC ENEMIES: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Channing Tatum, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard, Leelee Sobieski, Stephen Dorff, Lili Taylor, Emilie de Ravin, Giovanni Ribisi, Rory Cochran, Shawn Hatosy, Stephen Lang, Stephen Graham, Matt Craven (Directed by Michael Mann; Written by Ronan Bennett, Ann Biderman and Michael Mann; Universal)

John Dillinger was not as scary as Sweeney Todd, but don't be surprised if Johnny Depp makes the gun-toting terror of thirties Chicago almost as chilling as he made the demon barber of Fleet Street in Tim Burton's maniacal musical. “Public Enemies” is based on the book by Bryan Burrough about FBI biggie J. Edgar Hoover's crusade to bring Dillinger and other dirty rotten scoundrels, such as Pretty Boy Floyd, to justice. You might think that pretty boy Billy Crudup would be the ideal choice to play gangster Floyd, but no, that role has been undertaken by up-and-coming Tatum Channing. So who does Crudup play? The emphatically un-pretty J. Edgar Hoover! Giving his Batman drag a rest, Christian Bale becomes Melvin Purvis, the agent Hoover puts in charge of the Dillinger manhunt. Marion Cotillard and Leelee Sobieski play a couple of dollies with whom Dillinger dallies.

Click here for Guy Flatley's 2002 interview with Billy Crudup; to read about more new biopics, click here.