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And now James Franco is a professional killer in The Iceman, with Michael Shannon and Benicio del Toro

01.20.2011

For a while we've been hearing of dueling projects about hitman Richard "Ice Man" Kuklinski, with Mickey Rourke in one corner and workaholic James Franco, Michael Shannon and Benicio del Toro in the other. And as tough as Rourke is, it looks like he's been beaten to the punch.

THE ICEMAN comes from Nu Image/Millennium and director Ariel Vromen (Rx), based on the book "The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer" by Anthony Bruno and  the documentary "The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer" by Jim Thebaut. The package made the rounds at the recent AFM, but is obviously now a "go".

From the press release: THE ICEMAN is the electrifying true story of Richard Kuklinski (Shannon), a notorious mob contract killer and loving family man. He earned his nickname 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. Del Toro co-stars as Kuklinski’s employer, the notorious mobster Roy Demeo, and Franco plays his mentor assassin known as Mr. Softee.

Franco as an assassin named Mr. Softee -- outstanding. The guy's got the itch to kill, since we just reported his interest in more murder on THE NIGHT STALKER as well. And Franco and Shannon must be turning into bestest buds -- they just finished acting together in the feature THE BROKEN TOWER, which Franco also directed.

The status of Rourke's Ice Man project is unknown.

Extra Tidbit: Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (TRANSFORMERS, G.I. JOE) was previously working on the non-Franco/Shannon feature, and wanted Channing Tatum to play the killer. Um...
Source: Deadline

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7:49PM on 01/21/2011

@Decker

I'm with you 100%. Not enough people know about Shannon. The guy might be my favorite actor going right now. He is awesome in Boardwalk Empire.
I'm with you 100%. Not enough people know about Shannon. The guy might be my favorite actor going right now. He is awesome in Boardwalk Empire.
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1:14PM on 01/21/2011
To the idiots out there unaware of the existence of Michael Shannon. This movie and the role he'll play will finally make him a household name.
To the idiots out there unaware of the existence of Michael Shannon. This movie and the role he'll play will finally make him a household name.
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11:11AM on 01/21/2011

Sign me up

Great cast, great story
Great cast, great story
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8:39AM on 01/21/2011

Cool beans

This should be interesting. I've got a Mob Edition issue of the UK Maxim and they got a huge section on the Ice Man. He was one cold fucker.
This should be interesting. I've got a Mob Edition issue of the UK Maxim and they got a huge section on the Ice Man. He was one cold fucker.
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8:16AM on 01/21/2011
In the word of Will Ferrel from Zoolander: James Franco, he's so hot right now.
In the word of Will Ferrel from Zoolander: James Franco, he's so hot right now.
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7:03AM on 01/21/2011

oh...

Thank GOD...

Shannon>>>>>>>>>>Channing Tatum
Thank GOD...

Shannon>>>>>>>>>>Channing Tatum
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2:40AM on 01/21/2011

My favorites actors!

Thank for pick three actors Michael, Benicio, and James! I like their actors a lot because they can act intense! SO intense! amen!
Thank for pick three actors Michael, Benicio, and James! I like their actors a lot because they can act intense! SO intense! amen!
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1:17AM on 01/21/2011
Gonna be awesome!
Gonna be awesome!
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1:05AM on 01/21/2011
This sounds great. The cast is terrific. Shannon as a serial killer is perfect casting.

Del Toro was great in Things We Lost In The Fire. Great underrrated drama.
This sounds great. The cast is terrific. Shannon as a serial killer is perfect casting.

Del Toro was great in Things We Lost In The Fire. Great underrrated drama.
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11:34PM on 01/20/2011
Why not I'm in. Franco seems like a genuinely awesome actor who if nothing else picks really, really interesting roles. I've yet to see 127 Hours, but I hear he's pretty great in it. Plus Del Toro is awesome in pretty much any situation.
Why not I'm in. Franco seems like a genuinely awesome actor who if nothing else picks really, really interesting roles. I've yet to see 127 Hours, but I hear he's pretty great in it. Plus Del Toro is awesome in pretty much any situation.
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10:56PM on 01/20/2011

Tidbit

...to which the author (I don't know if it was Bruno, or the other project author) pulled the plug, feeling someone like Rourke would be better suited.
...to which the author (I don't know if it was Bruno, or the other project author) pulled the plug, feeling someone like Rourke would be better suited.
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