There are two movies about infamous mob hitman Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski currently in development, if you can believe it. One is called The Ice Man, which is being written by American History X screenwriter David McKenna and has Mickey Rourke attached to star as Kuklinski; then there's the equally intriguing project called The Iceman (one word, not two, see?) which has James Franco, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ray Liotta, Michael Shannon and Benicio Del Toro all attached to star.
That's a lot star power to bring the story of an unrepentant killer to the big screen; however, one film in this race just suffered a setback, as James Franco has now dropped out of The Iceman.
Just Jared has the exclusive, which claims that Franco had to drop out of the film due to some contract issues which (surprisingly) don't seem to involve money. According to the sources close to the matter: "James pulled out because he couldn't come to an agreement on key contractual issues that didn't involve financial terms. Now It Looks like this project might fall apart."
To be clear: The Iceman would've seen Franco playing the part of Robert "Mr. Softee" Pronge - a real-life hitman who drove a Mr. Softee ice cream truck and became a sort of mentor to Kuklinski. Pronge eventually asked The Iceman to whack his wife and kid - afterward, he was found shot to death in his Softee truck. Shannon (Man of Steel) was attached to play the Iceman himself, with Liotta playing the gangster he worked for.
It's strange to hear the source claim that the film is in danger of falling apart simply because Franco opted out of what is essentially a supporting role. Who knows, though, maybe there are more issues with this film than we already know about - not the least of which is trying to compete with an identical film that has a title so marginally different the average moviegoer likely won't be able to tell between the two.
In any event, as impressive a cast as The Iceman has, for my ticket money it doesn't get any better than having Mickey Rourke playing the titular role.
We'll keep you updated about the status of both The Iceman and The Ice man as more info comes our way.
Source: Just Jared
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