Hollywood comeback kid Mickey Rourke has signed up to star in The Ice Man, a film based on the life of real-life hitman Richard Iceman Kuklinski.
The Wrestler actor believes it will be his defining role, like boxing movie Raging Bull was for Robert De Niro, who won a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of middleweight world champion Jake Lamotta in the Martin Scorsese film, reports list.co.uk.
"He's really looking forward to being the Ice Man and I think he'll do a great job. He's talking about it being his Raging Bull," said Phil Carlo who wrote the 2006 biography The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer.
Movie producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura had held the rights to Carlo's bestseller about the convicted murderer. However, when the agreement expired in August, Carlo refused to extend the deal because di Bonaventura wanted Public Enemies star Channing Tatum to play the title character.
"I think Mickey Rourke would be really good. He's got that sense of danger, but it's not Channing Tatum," Carlo had said at that time.
The US writer is thrilled to be working with Rourke.
"We hit it off beautifully. We're producing it together. We'll shoot in the spring in New York, New Jersey and Florida," he said.
Kuklinski claimed to have murdered 50 vagrants before he turned 18, and then another 150 as a contract killer for several Italian-American Mafia families.
"Because it was bums, the police had no idea there was a serial killer on the loose. He used to use cobblestones, but he was getting gray matter on his clothes, so he stopped," said Carlo.
Kuklinski was finally arrested in 1986 and died in prison 20 years later, aged 70.
Carlo's novel claims he was murdered by Sammy The Bull Gravano, a Mafia member turned police informant.