Playing a role in a story based on true events served James Franco well in the past, given the success of 127 Hours, and the praise (and the Oscar nomination) he received for playing the lead role. Whether his part in The Iceman would have been another step forward in his career is unknown and now it seems we’ll never know as the actor has backed out of the part, which may put the whole movie in jeopardy.

The Iceman is (or was set to be) a film based on the book “The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer,” which told the story of mafia hitman Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski. Along with Franco, the cast included Ray Liotta and Maggie Gyllenhaal. got the exclusive on the news that Franco, who was set to play Kuklinski’s “mentor assassin,” has pulled out of the part due to “key contractual issues.” Their source specifies that money was not the issue, but went on to say, “Now it looks like this project might fall apart.”

If true, it’s disappointing news, not only because it sounds like an interesting project for Franco to be a part of, but any movie that features Ray Liotta as a gangster is fine by me. Hopefully things will get worked out, with or without Franco. As JustJared reports, Franco is in Detroit working with Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams in Oz: The Great and Powerful.

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