UPDATE: Apparently, the ice has melted for James Franco.
Sources tell JustJared that the Oscar nominee has pulled out of "The Iceman," a biopic about mafia hitman Richard Kuklinski, due to "contractual issues that didn't involve financial terms."
This news reportedly throws the entire project into question.
Though he's no longer making "The Three Stooges" with Sean Penn and Jim Carrey, Benicio Del Toro has just landed himself a new pair of killer co-stars.
Deadline reports that the actor will appear alongside James Franco and Michael Shannon in "The Iceman," a true-crime thriller about mafia hitman Richard Kuklinski.
Based on interview footage and the book "The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer," the movie tells "the electrifying true story of Richard Kuklinski (Shannon), a notorious mob contract killer and loving family man," Millennium Films and Bleiberg Entertainment said in a joint statement. "He earned his nickname by freezing the bodies of his victims, disguising the time of death, and throwing police off-track."
Despite that kooky side career as a murderer, Kuklinski appeared to lead an idyllic family life and his neighbors had no idea about his little hobby. He killed over 100 people during his life, and according to the movie's producers, "He never felt remorse for anything he had done, except hurting his family."
Aww, what a guy!
Del Toro will step into the role of mobster Roy Demeo, who employed Kuklinski, while Franco has been tapped to play Kuklinski's mentor, the unfortunately named Mr. Softee.
Here's hoping "The Iceman" trio have great chemistry and things don't turn frosty on set.
(Originally published on Jan. 21, 2011, at 12:05 p.m. ET)