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The Iceman (2012) Poster

(2012)

Trivia

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While in prison, Richard Kuklinski claimed to be responsible along with four other men for the kidnap and murder of former Teamsters union boss Jimmy Hoffa on July 30 1975 in a restaurant parking lot in Detroit. The five-man team were allegedly given the contract on Hoffa by Tony Provenzano, a captain in the Genovese crime family. Kuklinski claimed to have been paid $40,000 for the hit. Kuklinski said that he knocked Hoffa unconscious with a blackjack and, while holding Hoffa's chin up, thrust a hunting knife into the back of his head. Hoffa's body was then allegedly placed in the trunk of a car that was then crushed and sold as scrap metal to Japanese car makers. The claims only surfaced after Kuklinski's death in March 2006 in a book by author Philip Carlo and will probably never be substantiated.
Apart from a 15 second flashback, the film makes virtually no mention of the awful childhood that Richard Kuklinski endured. His parents were both deeply violent people, with his father actually accidentally beating his older brother to death. In real life, this played out into Kuklinski becoming a very violent person himself. The film completely glosses over the fact that he regularly beat his own wife.
To aid her performance as the oblivious wife, Winona Ryder removed all the pages of the screenplay that didn't involve her.
James Franco and Benicio Del Toro were originally cast in the lead roles. Franco was replaced by Chris Evans and Del Toro was replaced by Ray Liotta.
Michael Shannon was able to emulate the real Richard Kuklinski's voice by listening to TV interviews and the HBO documentary, America Undercover: The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer (1992).
Maggie Gyllenhaal was cast as Deborah Kuklinski, but dropped out due to pregnancy. She was replaced by Winona Ryder.
A competing version starring Mickey Rourke and based on the Phillip Carlo version of The Iceman was in development at the same time. Ultimately this version won out.
The film is called The Iceman (2012) was because Richard Kuklinski's modus operandi in his contract killings was to freeze the body of his victims to obscure their actual time of death.
Before production began, director Ariel Vromen shot a test scene with Michael Shannon as Richard Kuklinski and Michael Wincott as Robert Pronge. Shannon kept his role in the feature version, while Chris Evans was cast as Robert Pronge because Vromen wanted someone younger for that part. The director offered Wincott another role, but the actor wasn't happy with it and amicably refused.

Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Body count: 15.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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