The 'Ice Man' Cometh, Despite Franco

This once happened with asteroids, too, and zombies and other stuff. Hollywood, once in a while, develops two or more movies so similar and in roughly the same time period, too, that it amazes you. In this case, two films are planned, one already in production, on a notorious hit man who lied more than he actually killed -- and these movies almost have the same titles.

We have, based on Philip Carlo's book and starring Mickey Rourke, Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer (2012). The other film, The Iceman (2011), is an entirely different production, based on a different book, by writer Anthony Bruno. It stars Michael Shannon, an excellent actor who has two two seasons been playing a repressed/possibly corrupt IRS agent on HBO's Boardwalk Empire.
The Iceman poster, starring Michael Shannon.

Here is an update on each version....

Mickey Rourke's 'Ice Man' Project Moves Forward - The Moviefone Blog: "The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer, based on the best-selling book by Philip Carlo, itself based on the true story of outspoken former contract-killer-slash-loving-husband-and-father Richard Kuklinski, who claims to have been involved in high-profile assassinations such as those of Jimmy Hoffa and Paul Castellano, and to have killed more than 100 people. Here's a fun documentary/series of interviews with Kuklinski -- now cooling his heels in a New Jersey prison -- which should give you an idea of why Rourke is such an appropriate choice. This guy is a scary m-f-er, though Carlo's book was criticized for credulously taking Kuklinski at his self-serving word.

"Rourke last played a hitman in... Elmore Leonard drama Killshot, where he did as much as he could in a weak role. The Ice Man, which will be written by David McKenna (who did a nice job with another biopic, Ted Demme's Blow; he also wrote American History X, if you're into that (I'm not)), should give him more to chew on. I don't like biopics as a rule, and I tend to especially recoil from ones composed with the assistance of their subjects (e.g. Antwone Fisher), but this should be fun."

THE ICEMAN from We Are Movie Geeks: "“The Iceman” is the electrifying true story of Richard Kuklinski (Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon, “Revolutionary Road”), notorious mob contract killer and loving family man. He earned his nick-name by freezing the bodies of his victims, disguising the time of death and throwing police off-track. He was a man who used his tendencies toward violence and detachment from consequence to create an idyllic family life. His family and neighbors believed he was an average businessman, having no idea about his deadly alternate life. Kuklinski killed over one hundred people during his life. He never felt remorse for anything he had done, except hurting his family...


"Rounding out the cast is Benicio Del Toro, Elias Koteas and James Franco [well, forget Franco]. THE ICEMAN is presently shooting in Detroit, Mich., and no release date has been set."

Back to CNNews: Franco was playing Mr. Softee, a secondary character and not the lead by any means. We can't believe that his departure would hold up a film that stars Benicio Del Toro, Elias Koteas and, as noted, Shannon. And it won't -- as the clip below makes clear; his role has already been recast. I urge interested parties to which the clip; I like the Mick, but Shannon is going to be a hard act to follow, literally, since this film is likely to hit theaters before Carlo's version.

Promo Footage of Michael Shannon In THE ICEMAN

Check out this preview footage of director Ariel Vromen’s thriller THE ICEMAN. Warning: language and violence in the promo.


  1. Looking forward to both of these movies. Thank you for the update.

  2. You're quite welcome, anonymous! I look forward to them, too, especially the Shannon version.


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