Winona Ryder is joining the cast of the indie thriller The Iceman. The drama is based on the book by Anthony Bruno that chronicles the life of Richard Kuklinski, a professional hitman who kept his work secret from his family. Michael Shannon is onboard to play Kuklinski, and Deadline reports that Ryder has just committed to star as Kuklinski’s wife. The project nearly fell apart after James Franco dropped out, but Chris Evans quickly swooped in and took over the role of Kuklinski’s mentor. The contract killer received the nickname “The Iceman” because he froze the bodies of his victims in order to disguise their time of death and throw the authorities off track.
Benicio Del Toro had been set to play mob boss Roy Demeo, but this latest report makes no mention of his casting so it’s possible he’s no longer involved with the project. Ariel Vromen (Danika) will direct. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the novel.
Richard Kuklinsky, son of a brutal, alcoholic father who came home only infrequently and a mother who vented her resentment on her children, grew up to be an efficient mass murderer. By the time of his trial in 1988 at age 53 he had killed upwards of 100 men by shooting, stabbing, choking or poisoning them. Kuklinsky, a New Jersey family man with two daughters and a son, was finally brought to justice through the efforts of Special Agent Dominick Polifrone of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, working with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and the New Jersey State Police. The “Ice Man” will not be eligible for parole until he is 111 years old. Bruno ( Bad Blood ) has done an excellent job of re-creating the tension and stress Polifrone experienced in fulfilling his risky undercover assignment. [Amazon]