What would Hollywood be without competing projects each year? It could be competing volcano movies, competing killer comet movies, competing talking pig movies, but the mimicry continues.
Now we have two films in development based on the life of mob hitman Richard Kuklinski. Over at AFM, "The Iceman" was announced, a project that would team Michael Shannon with (optimistically) Benicio Del Toro and (c'mon now) James Franco, as seen on the poster to your left.
The film is set to be directed by Ariel Vromen, who only has a couple of forgettable films to his credit ("Danika," "Rx") and with the project set up at Nu Image/Millenium who are known for budget first, quality second, we would guess it will have to be one hell of a script for any of these guys to officially sign on. Production is aiming for a summer start, but another project might get there first.
An untitled adaptation of Phil Carlo's "Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer" is also being shopped at AFM from Natural Selection, with Mickey Rourke attached to star. That project, which has been long in development, has David McKenna ("American History X") on board as a screenwriter.
It's easy to see why the material has become the fascination of more than one producer: Kuklinski is one of the most notorious mob hitmen, claiming over 200 kills while keeping his true identity secret from his wife and kids. And while the pairing of Shannon/Del Toro/Franco sounds great, it also seems too good to be true at this point. So don't be surprised if the names fall off the project if it fails to get what it needs at AFM; our money is on the Rourke horse to win this race.