New ‘The Iceman’ Trailer: The Double-Life of One of America’s Most Notorious Hitmen

Published 2 years ago by , Updated January 16th, 2013 at 4:30 pm,

After years of turning in spectacular performances as a supporting player, Michael Shannon is finally getting his due as a leading man. He was universally praised for playing the lead in the 2011 indie Take Shelter and this year he’s receiving top-billing on The Iceman, wherein he plays the titular character Richard “Iceman” Kuklinski, who was also known as one of the most ruthless and cold-blooded criminals in American history.

The debut trailer for Ariel Vromen’s thriller was released a few months back, and in it we got a glimpse of the double-life that Kuklinski led. By day he was a devoted and loving father and husband, but by night he transformed into a dangerous and feared contract killer. Even the snippets of Shannon’s performance gave the viewer chills, as well as demonstrated Shannon’s range as a Jekyll-and-Hyde type character.

The second trailer, which you can check out above, gives us a little more of the man behind the monster, revealing his dealings with mobsters, but also his loving interaction with family. It also shows off more of the talented ensemble that surrounds Shannon, including Chris Evans (The Avengers), James Franco (127 Hours), Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) and Winona Ryder as Mrs. Kuklinski.

Those who are not familiar with Kuklinski’s reign of terror – which spanned several decades – can get all the info they need about the man here. The sheer fact that Kuklinski murdered at least 100 people between 1964 and 1986  is even more chilling than Shannon’s portrayal of the notorious hitman.

iceman trailer 01152013 183 New The Iceman Trailer: The Double Life of One of Americas Most Notorious Hitmen

Michael Shannon in ‘The Iceman’

The trailer isn’t ashamed to give away most of the plot, but since it’s based on a true story and seems to be more of a performance-driven film anyway, that may not be a concern for most moviegoers. The screenplay is adapted from Anthony Bruno’s biography of Kuklinski, The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer, but it’s unclear how close it will stick to the real story, as dramatic liberties were almost assuredly taken by the filmmakers.

Since debuting at the Toronto Film Festival last September, the film has received mostly positive reviews, but has not been overwhelmingly praised. Of course, most critics have still not seen the film, so it may be too early to judge.

Go see The Iceman for yourself when it hits theatres on May 3, 2013.

Follow Daniel Johnson on Twitter @UODanJohnson
TAGS: The iceman
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  1. This Movie Has Promise

  2. Why does it say Acedemy Award nominee James Franco? Correct me if I’m wrong but didnt he win the Oscar for 127 Hours?

    • I think he was only nominated

    • Colin Firth actually beat him.

  3. He wasn’t a loving family man. He was a vicious wife-beater. He did love his wife and children fiercely and protectively, and kept his professional life away from his family life. However, he was at the same time a violently abusive husband and father.

    Portraying him as a loving family man is psychologically nonsensical, as someone with such a compulsive murderous temper and need to kill (many of his kills were not professional hits, they were rage-fuelled murders)cannot be a kindly father figure. It would be more realistic to portray him for what he was- a severely psychologically damaged psychopath who killed for money and rage, and abused his family.

    The real Kuklinski was a fascinating study of how childhood abuse can create a monster. That story is more interesting to me than the ‘mafia hit man’ angle they seem to have taken for the fim.

    • This movie looks really good but with what you have said annoys me, i dont mind some artistic license being taken with true life stories but to completely change a vital personality trait to garner sympathy with an audience is just wrong to me, I’d rather have a Silence of the Lambs style psycho based on numerous people resulting in a fictional character, rather than trying to tell the true story of a psycho and changing the details to suit the character arch and feel of the movie

      • Apparently you’ve never heard of Dennis Rader, also known as BTK. Sadistic serial killer and loving family man who never abused his wife or children, mentally or physically.

        • Apparently, you don’t know much about serial killers, or criminal psychology. Yes, many serial killers have been devoted to their families- John Wayne Gacy for example was aLso a family man. However, Richard Kuklinski WAS NOT A SERIAL KILLER.

          Serial killers usually kill to satisfy a compulsion, usually sexual in nature. They see their victims as objects to satisfy their sexual or other perverse urges- not as people. However, they see their families as people, and so would never hurt them. Jeffrey Dahmer was a very devoted and loving son to his father.

          The difference with Kuklinski is he didn’t kill for sexual gratification. He never had sex with his victims or their bodies. He never kept souvenirs of their body parts. He killed because he was an extremely violent psychopath with an uncontrollable temper. This is because his father was so violently physically abusive that he literally beat Richard’s brother to death when they were kids.

          KUkinski killed many people simply for looking at him the wrong way, or for crossing him somehow. The rest he killed for money. A guy with such a violent temper and propensity for violence is going to be violent to his family. When his wife didn’t do what he wanted, he beat her. When she offended him, he beat her.

          This violent temper and hair-trigger violent impulse was perfectly consistent with why he killed. Somebody who would kill another man over a road rage incident because he couldn’t control his anger would also not be able to control his anger if his wife doesn’t bring him a sandwich fast enough or whatever.

          Don’t confuse serial killers with the kind of psychopath Kuklinski was- they are very different creatures.

          • I’ve seen documentaries about this guy, and therefore totally agree with you Etrigan. This guy seemed like a nice guy, very interesting, charismatic, unless you pissed him off, and it didn’t matter who you were then.

            I haven’t read the book so I don’t know who is to blame for changing his story, but it is unfortunate. In the documentaries he sat down with a psychiatrist to try and find out why he was able to do the horrific things he did without ever feeling bad about it. I don’t know if he was given any incentives to talk with the doctor or not, but as I understood it he was just looking for some answers about his life, some clarification. I always thought this story would make a good movie. Having a character who is able to kill at anytime, for any reason, like a real-life Jason Voorhees but at the same time can have a family, be charismatic, and know on some level that what he does is not normal human behavior, is very interesting. Maybe it is just because I am a psychologist, but to me, done right, that would be a better movie than the cliché anti-hero, mob hitman story, that we’ve seen at least a dozen times, which is displayed in this trailer. At least the acting seems well-done, and sometimes movies are entirely different than their trailers, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.

  4. Anyone else think Michael Shannon looked a little like Michael C. Hall in that picture at first glance?

  5. Whoa! This movie looks sick!

  6. Anyone familiar with the real life Iceman knows that this movie (if it is true to the story and graphic) will be VERY disturbing.

  7. Oops like a good movie

  8. “The sheer fact that Kuklinski murdered at least 100 people between 1964 and 1986 is just as chilling as Shannon’s portrayal of the notorious hitman.”

    REALLY? Somebody MURDERING 100+ people on REAL LIFE!!! is just as chilling as an actor’s performance? I’d have to give a SLIGHT edge to the real life iceman in the chilling category.

  9. I don’t think Shannon will be able to pull off the 6’5″ 280 lbs part of the character.

  10. michael shannon’s awesome

  11. I knew him personally but did not know this side of him, we actually had a lot of fun together.we got suspended from work once for going out to lunch and getting drunk and not going back , and thats the bar owner he later killed