Back in September, we reported that a trio of actors were reportedly looking at starring in The Iceman, the true story of mob contract-killer Richard Kuklinski. Today, we’ve got confirmation that Michael Shannon, Benicio del Toro and James Franco have officially joined the cast. Shannon has been cast in the lead role of Kuklinski, with del Toro set to play Kuklinski’s employer, mobster Roy Demeo, and Franco tapped as Kuklinski’s mentor assassin. Directed by Ariel Vromen (Danika), the film is based on the book The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer by Anthony Bruno, as well as interview footage. Regarding the casting, Vromen said:
“I am honored to work with such a talented cast on such a compelling story. Since the early stages of development I had the dream of casting Michael Shannon as Kuklinski, as I believe there’s no one else that can play this part better than him.”
Kurklinski earned his nickname by freezing the bodies of his victims, disguising the time of death, and throwing police off-track. Hit the jump to read the full press release, which includes a rather terrifying description of Kuklinski.
Here’s the press release:
Michael Shannon, Benicio Del Toro and James Franco will be starring in THE ICEMAN, it was announced today in a joint statement made by Millennium Films and Bleiberg Entertainment.
Ariel Vromen (Danika,Rx) is directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with Morgan Land (Rx, The Point of No Return), based on the book The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer by Anthony Bruno and on interview footage from the documentary The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer by Jim Thebaut.
Ehud Bleiberg is producing the film. Millennium Films’ Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short, Avi Lerner and Boaz Davidson are executive producing with Untitled Entertainment’s Laura Rister. Rabbit Bandini’s Miles Levy and Vince Jolivette are also executive producers. Bleiberg Entertainment’s Nicholas Donnermeyer will be associate producer. Nu Image, Inc., Millennium Films’ parent company, will handle worldwide sales.
THE ICEMAN is the electrifying true story of Richard Kuklinski (Shannon), a notorious mob contract killer and loving family man. He earned his nickname by freezing the bodies of his victims, disguising the time of death, and throwing police off-track. He was a man who used his tendencies toward violence and detachment from consequence to create an idyllic family life. His family and neighbors believed he was an average businessman, having no idea about his deadly alternate life. Kuklinski killed over one hundred people during his life. He never felt remorse for anything he had done, except hurting his family. Del Toro co-stars as Kuklinski’s employer, the notorious mobster Roy Demeo, and Franco plays his mentor assassin known as Mr. Softee.
“Our film is going to be fantastic. The story is riveting, the cast perfect, and all being directed by the talents of Ariel Vromen. We are pleased to be working with Bleiberg Entertainment” says Nu Image/Millennium’s Avi Lerner.
Ariel Vromen comments, “I am honored to work with such a talented cast on such a compelling story. Since the early stages of development I had the dream of casting Michael Shannon as Kuklinski, as I believe there’s no one else that can play this part better than him.”
“Richard Kuklinski is a remarkably vivid, imminently watchable character, as was evident from the real-life footage of him. I’m looking forward to working with Avi, Danny, Trevor, and Boaz on this film; Ariel is a tremendously talented young filmmaker who has poured his heart into this project and has a strong, artistic vision,” remarks Ehud Bleiberg.