Scott Cooper spent a decade working as an actor in film and television. He made the switch to directing with 2009's Crazy Heart, starring Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal. From the success of this film, Cooper next directed and co-wrote the film Out of the Furnace, starring Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson and Casey Affleck. In January 2014, Cooper wrote and directed Black Mass, a crime drama based on the book of the same name, described as the "true story of Billy Bulger, Whitey Bulger, FBI agent John Connolly and the FBI's witness protection program that was created by J. Edgar Hoover." Starring Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton and Benedict Cumberbatch, the film was released in 2015. Cooper recently wrote, directed and produced the 2017 western Hostiles featuring Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike. The film had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival with US distribution rights picked up by Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures.