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Shannon, Franco and Del Toro to Star in ‘The Iceman’

Posted by , on January 21, 2011 at 2:22 pm 

Talk about a triple threat of actors for one film.

Back in October we reported a story about Michael Shannon, James Franco and Benicio Del Toro signing on for a biopic about Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski, one of the more infamous mob hitmen of the past fifty years. At the time it was (and probably still is) in competition with another planned film about the man, set to star Mickey Rourke. That movie, based on The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer by Philip Carlo, truly has some competition now, because Deadline tells us that all three aforementioned actors are now attached to the project, with Ariel Vroman set to direct.

Shannon would be taking on the lead part, and is said to be based on The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer by Anthony Brunowith, as well as Jim Thebaut‘s documentary The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer. There’s even a test film even being online that gives you an idea of what to expect from his performance, makeup work included. Del Toro is reported as playing Kuklinski’s employer, mobster Roy Demeo, and Franco is his “mentor assassin”, Mr. Softee. Shannon already has a look down for the character, and it also seems like Vroman can actually direct a scene, and can do so well. While he doesn’t look exactly like the man himself, I think the fact that we’ve gotten this much from him this early on says a bit about his dedication to the role. Below, you can see a comparison between the two:

No dates have been set for shooting, and while Millennium is funding the project, with their sister company Nu Image handling worldwide distribution, I’m not entirely sure it has an American distributor at this time. But with Sundance currently underway, it wouldn’t serve as a huge shock if someone picked it up there. I know I would, at least.

What do you think of this casting, and do you have a general preference among either project?

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