Mike Fleming

TORONTO: As buyers ponder Mickey Rourke’s Toronto Film Festival submission Passion Play, the Mick has pacted to play a Mafia contract killer in The Ice Man. How this squares with the likelihood he next stars as Sonny Barger in the Tony Scott-directed Hell’s Angels pic for Fox opposite Shia La Beouf, I’m not sure. Here’s a quick announcement on the deal.

TORONTO, CANADA (September 12, 2010) – Natural Selection CEO Matty Beckerman announced today out of Toronto — where he is attending the Toronto International Film Festival — a deal for the company to fully finance and produce a feature adaptation of the Philip Carlo tome THE ICE MAN: CONFESSIONS OF A MAFIA CONTRACT KILLER and have attached Mickey Rourke to star. David McKenna (who wrote AMERICAN HISTORY X and BLOW) is penning the screenplay based on the eponymous book written by Carlo. Beckerman will produce. Graham Taylor at WME Global will handle North American sales on this title.

THE ICE MAN: CONFESSIONS OF A MAFIA CONTRACT KILLER is the true story of Richard “The Ice Man” Kuklinski who for over 40 years led a completely secretive double life as both a notorious professional assassin and a doting husband and father in suburban New Jersey.

“Richard Kuklinski’s life and Philip Carlo’s true account, three years in the making, is fascinating and unlike any mafia story that’s been brought to the big screen,” says Beckerman. “This is a role Mickey Rourke was born to play and as a huge fan of David McKenna’s work, I am thrilled to have him on board.” says Beckerman.

Carlo was born and raised in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, considered a major area for Mafia activity. Carlo’s first book, Stolen Flower, was about an abducted eight year old girl used by pornographers, and the efforts of the Neapolitan Mafia to get the child back. Carlo’s second book The Night Stalker: The Life and Crimes of Richard Ramirez, the second most popular true crime book after Capote’s In Cold Blood, is considered the definitive book on Ramirez, who terrorized Los Angeles county for fourteen months, stealing into homes in the middle of the night, taking twenty-nine lives. THE ICE MAN, which follows the life and crimes of Kuklinski, a two-hundred-twenty pound Mafia hit-man became a New York Times bestseller. Diagnosed in 2005 with Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Carlo is currently researching a book about Colombian drug lord Juan Carlos Ramirez Abbadia, with the full unprecedented access of the DEA.

Carlo said “When I met Matty Beckerman, I immediately knew he was the producer the take the ICEMAN to the bigscreen. He immediately grasped the significance of a loving husband, caring father and a man who is a professional killer who travels around the world filling murder contracts at will, displaying an animal-like predatorial ability we’ve never seen before or since – an excessively powerful man who could kill with his bare hands or a long list of weapons, his wife and family having no idea. As bad as Richard was, he hated rapists with a passion and he could never see a child abused and not do something.”