Mickey Rourke Confirmed to Star as Mob Assassin ‘The Ice Man’

Published 5 years ago by , Updated July 12th, 2013 at 10:19 am,

Mickey Rourke seems to have a penchant for sinking his teeth into steely, reserved characters and his latest role will certainly leave him with plenty to chew on. According to Variety, the grizzled performer is attached to star in The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer - an adaptation of Phillip Carlo’s acclaimed book.

Matty Beckerman announced the project and Rourke’s involvement at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. He also revealed that his production company, Natural Selection, will finance the film and that David McKenna (Blow, American History X) has been hired to pen the script.

Carlo’s New York Times bestseller recounts the real life story of mafia hitman Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski, and the bulk of the text is derived from the prolific killer’s own words. In addition to the book, Kuklinski was the subject of two memorable HBO documentaries and has become notorious for his brutal crimes and the efficiency with which he carried them out.

As far as Beckerman is concerned, this is a perfect match of actor, screenwriter, and source material:

“This is a role Mickey Rourke was born to play and, as a huge fan of David McKenna’s work, I am thrilled to have him on board.”

Rourke’s resurgence is in full force – The Expendables has been a bona fide hit at the box office this summer and the first bits of footage from Passion Play suggest a quirky and intriguing film. His last outing as a hit man may not have gone so well (an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s Killshot deservedly slipped under the radar), but it sounds like he’s in better hands with The Ice Man.

The role of Kuklinski is a natural fit for Rourke, as anyone who has seen the HBO documentaries or read Carlo’s book can attest. He’s certainly a better choice than Channing Tatum – who Lorenzo di Bonaventura wanted for the lead role back when he owned the rights.

The (pardon the pun) chilling details of Kuklinski’s life are as fascinating as they are horrifying and the reserved demeanor in which he details them is incredibly unnerving. One of the more disturbing aspects of his story is that at the height of his involvement with the mob, Kuklinski was a devoted husband and father to two children who believed he was a successful businessman.

The phrase “truth is stranger than fiction” comes to mind, and that ties into my only reservation with Carlo’s book: it takes everything Kuklinski says at face value.

A great deal of his tale is supported by actual evidence, but there’s also quite a bit that’s unsubstantiated – such as his grandiose claims of being involved with the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. It will be interesting to see how many of those elements (if any) are worked into McKenna’s script.

Regardless, the film has an enormous amount of potential and I can’t wait to see Rourke’s interpretation of Kuklinski in The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer.

Source: Variety.

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  1. Amen. I’m a raving fan of both Mickey Rourke and Kuklinski (yes, I’m one of those people who likes serial killers). For the movie to be meaningful, it will need to be unbelievably brutal This is because as the post hints, apart from the unbelievable and casual brutality of his kills, Kuklinski’s life was rather dull. Except of course if you want to include family drama (he was brutally beaten as a child and saw his father beat his brother to death. He later became a violently abusive husband as well).

  2. Etrigan

    Can you recommend some good books on serial killers. I’m reading The Stranger Beside me right now and while it’s good, it’s not exactly what I’m looking for.

    • Read either the Westies, or murder machine

  3. Mickey Rourke was Excellent in “Killshot”….in his own words, he stated it was his best acting in years (2006)

    Killshot was a great movie!

    • i didnt really care for that movie, the only thing that was good was when he got tired of JGL….he was the most annoying thing that ive seen on screen in a long time.

      • While I can’t say that I didn’t care for the movie, I think I went in expecting much more given the ensemble cast. It was a good moment when he rid himself of JGL, I agree.


    • his best work in recent years was..

      the wrestler
      thin red line
      the pledge

      himself and eva green might star in the ‘MONA LISA’ remake

  4. The last movies that Rourke made were pretty awesome!

    Looking forward to this one…

  5. Even when Hollywood wasn’t smiling on him, Mr. Rourke has turned in memorable roles. He has a lot of presence on-screen and, no doubt, his performance with this project would/will be no different. I can’t think of a movie I’ve seen in him where he wasn’t a standout. Even though he played more of a backseat passenger role in The Expendables, his talk about redemption (arguably) defined the heart & soul of the film. Hopefully today’s audience will go back and watch his work from the 80′s because he has a very impressive filmography. Glad to see him continuing to add to it.

  6. Mickey Rourke is without a doubt one of the standout and most inspiring actors of the past 3 decades. First seeing him in The Wrestler whet my appetite to purchase and watch everything he played in back to 1941. I totally relate to his inability to buy into the Hollywood
    B.S. and commend him for his perseverance to push forward in the acting arena that he quite obviously excels in. He is instinctual and will go down in history as one of the greatest actors of all time.

  7. Richard Kuklinski wasn’t a serial killer. He was conducting business, nothing more than that. He didn’t go out and kill innocent people. He took care of the rats and the scum that had to go.

    • No, he didn’t just kill for contracts. He talks about killing homeless men when he first started. Plus one of his first kills was as a child against a bully. So he I think he would be considered a serial killer. Not to mention the kills that he did if you even looked at him wrong.

    • Learn what u r talking about before u go and guess about some remark random people may read thinking u actually know what your talking about stupid… Read his book or something! He did kill for fun.. He killed to practice and hone his skills. Not for just money

  8. I would like to get in touch with David McKenna.If the subject of the stolen cars comes up.I would like to know if he needs an idea of the warehouse on long Island.I remember what Hussin said to me.Hussin said,You becareful with us,You could end up in the trunk of a car down at the docks.Then the book Murder Machine came out.Thats when I learned the guy in the trunk was Hussins partner Dowd.About a year later he made another comment towards me having a baby an not married.What would happen to my girlfriend and I in his country and not married.My partner was a Nassau co.cop.We were liget and had fun.That was 78-82,I was 23,I rode my old Super Glide up from Florida to New York.With no job. I fell into it.Roy DeMaio was there 3-4 times a week on his to city.We were just one block north of sunrise hwy.

  9. @ Steve
    You do not know what a serial killer is.
    Motive has nothing to do with it, repeat killings do.

  10. I went to see one version last night… A very good characterisation but seem to jumble some of the facts. If you want to piece together and cross reference all you need do is watch the HBO Interviews and cross with Roy Dimaeo’s Life in crime. Richard kuklinski seemed to kill because he was systematically abused by both parents therefore killing started with flash reminders of anyone who reminded him of his father which later graduated into Roy Dimaeo’s killing efficiently for large scores for the Mafia!