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James Franco Exits Mob Killer Pic ‘The Iceman’ Leaving Future Of Project In Doubt

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist October 19, 2011 at 12:59PM

With his busy schedule taking him between classrooms, art galleries, movie sets and TV studios, even the multitasking James Franco can't do it all.
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With his busy schedule taking him between classrooms, art galleries, movie sets and TV studios, even the multitasking James Franco can't do it all.

At the beginning of the year it was reported that the promising trio of Franco, Benicio Del Toro and Michael Shannon were coming together for "The Iceman." Co-written (with Morgan Land) and set to be directed by Ariel Vromen, the film follows the exploits of Richard Kulinski, one of the most notorious mob hitmen, claiming over 100 kills while keeping his true identity secret from his wife and kids. Shannon was set for the lead part of Kulinski, Del Toro as a mobster and Kulinski’s boss Roy DeMeo and Franco as Mr. Softee, Kulinski’s mentor assassin. However, this may not come pass. According to JustJared, Franco has exited the movie, now leaving the future of the pic on shaky ground.

Exact details of why Franco won't be taking a role in the film are a bit mysterious. “James pulled out because he couldn’t come to an agreement on key contractual issues that didn’t involve financial terms,” a source tells Just Jared. “Now it looks like this project might fall apart.” Maybe his trailer wasn't big enough and they couldn't find him a bowl full of brown M&Ms? Maggie Gyllenhaal was also apparently part of the cast, but we're not sure why Franco is integral to this film getting made. Granted, he's a bigger "star" than his castmates, but presumably the producers can try and find another high profile name to sub in? Unless the co-stars don't want to do the movie without Franco. Guess we'll see how this plays out.

This isn't the only movie about Kusinski in development, however, with Mickey Rourke linked to a competing project last fall. Though word on that one has been quiet of late. For now, Franco is busy with his zillion over-endeavours, including currently shooting Sam Raimi's "Oz The Great And Powerful," making a documentary about a porn site and attempting to get an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child Of God" off the ground.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Actresses, The Iceman, James Franco , Michael Shannon, Benicio Del Toro, Maggie Gyllenhaal


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