Certain actors get stereotyped for a reason. Samuel L. Jackson yells really well, so his characters tend to yell a lot. Charlie Sheen has been known to call a few ladies from time to time, so of course he plays a womanizer on TV. And so it makes sense that Mickey Rourke has been attached to play the infamous Mafia hitman Richard “The Ice Man” Kuklinski in Natural Selection’s adaptation of Philip Carlo’s book The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer.
Now, of course, Rourke is not and has never been involved with the Mafia (that we’re aware of; who knows what he does in his spare time) but let’s be honest: the man could easily fit in at any mob meeting. With his scared face, raspy voice and rowdy demeanor, he’ll be perfect for the role. His Oscar nominated turn in The Wrestler showcased his ability to play a tortured soul in a business that does not exactly reward having a conscience.
Carlo’s book profiles Kuklinski, a contract killer that maintained a double life with his wife and kids in the suburbs who had no idea he was taking out targets for anyone who was willing to pay. While Carlo admits that Kulinski was a brutal murderer, he also “hated rapists with a passion and he could never see a child abused and not do something.” The killer with a heart of gold is a widely used trope in Hollywood, but it should be refreshing to see Rourke’s take on the material.
While no director has been set for the film, David McKenna (American History X) has been hired to write the screenplay. With that kind of talent behind the script, Rourke on screen, and an already engaging story, as long as they don’t get someone completely moronic to helm this, The Ice Man should be a killer at the box office and a maybe even a winner during awards season.
And if Rourke could have another bird perch on his shoulder like he did in Iron Man 2 then the film would explode from pure awesomeness.