In August of 2009 we found out that a movie about one of the planet’s most infamous killers, Richard Kuklinski, was being delayed because the producer at that time wanted Channing Tatum for the role. Many of you spoke up about who you’d like to see play the part, and we later found out that one of those names, Mickey Rourke, had been cast in the role.
Now comes a bit of a surprise: there’s actually another separate movie based on Kuklinski, better known as The Ice Man, in the works as well. This project, titled The Iceman, comes from Nu Image, and already has its star: Michael Shannon, who can currently be seen on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, and has also been seen in movies like Bug and Revolutionary Road, which nabbed him an Academy Award nomination. Benicio Del Toro is also set for a role in the film, and James Franco is a possibility. This film will be directed by Ariel Vromen, who has previously helmed Rx and Danika.
The Rourke project is aiming to begin production come spring, while this second project is aiming at a start date some time next summer.
There’s been many occasions where two films based on the same content/story have been produced, and typically the one that gets released first does the best, but it will be interesting to see how these play out. Both of these actors are incredibly talented, but until we see how well they portray Kuklinski, we won’t be able to know how excited to be. Both films absolutely hinge on how accurately the actors can become this vicious killer.
My money would still have to be on Rourke and the first project we heard about. That film, which is currently untitled, is based on the popular Philip Carlo book, The Ice Man: Confessions Of A Mafia Contract Killer. That project also has the “life rights” to both Kuklinski’s wife, Barbara, who along with their children went years without knowing what Kuklinski really did for a living, as well as Pat Kane, the man who ultimately brought down the Ice Man.
Again, until we really get a look at these two films and how they feel, we won’t know which bandwagon to jump on. But for now, which is more appealing to you? Is the project with Rourke too well-sourced to ignore or is Michael Shannon a better choice for the lead role?