Posted on Sunday, August 9th, 2009 by Hunter Stephenson
For all of the blame being placed on “flyover state people” for the success of G.I. Joe, the most outspoken journo-champions for this trendy daycare fare are based in L.A. and New York. It’s one thing to be an adult cashing a check by playing a literal piece of plastic—that is to say: gross—it’s another stumble entirely to be an intelligent adult cheering the result. But predictably, the careers of the actors involved in Joe will benefit, and Channing Tatum, the pin-up version of the guys who carouse Wal-Mart parking lots on Saturday night, is one of ‘em. Evidently, Tatum was to play the lead in a biopic about Richard Kuklinksi aka The Ice Man (above), possibly the most-publicized serial-murderer/mafia hitman of recent times. No more. Author Phil Carlo, who penned the adapted best-selling biography on the Ice Man, has humorously called bullshit on Tatum’s casting, thus placing the project in development hell (alongside its subject, no less)…
I really hated the idea of Channing Tatum,” Carlo tells the NY Post. I told [G.I. Joe mega-producer] Lorenzo di Bonaventura that this is not the guy to play one of the most feared killers of the 20th Century,” Carlo said. “I think Mickey Rourke would really be good. He’s got that sense of danger, and there’s a similarity between the two. But it’s not Channing Tatum.”
Of course, it’s bad enough that Kuklinski, who died in prison in 2006, has a former model and one of the best actors working today being mentioned to depict his life story in front of the world. But sure: offhand, who is your choice? As The Playlist calculates, Kuklinksi was on record as having slayed 100-200 human beings, many with cyanide, and the majority while on-call for various crime families. Coming from a psychopath with nothing to lose but an immortalized legacy as a murderer, that figure is still speculated and likely inflated.
You may recall that a few years ago The Ice Man was so ubiquitous on cable TV that Jonah Hill probably wrote a masturbation joke about it. During that time, I remember wondering if James Gandolfini had studied his endless taped interviews for Tony Soprano; the dull flittering of The Ice Man’s eyelids and the unfazed deadness resting underneath shared an uncanny resemblance. (In additon to the character’s New Jersey connection.) Unlike Gandolfini, Tatum would have a hellish time capturing such details and is far better off (and, hey, better paid!) in roles with Made in China printed on the ass.