Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Mugshot taken of Richard Kuklinski, taken foll...Image via Wikipedia

THE author of a best seller about vicious Mafia hit man Richard Kuklinski has pulled the plug on a deal with Hollywood producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, who had optioned the rights, because he says he couldn't stomach the idea of Channing Tatum in the title role.

Phil Carlo tells us that after he penned "The Ice Man: Confessions of a Mafia Contract Killer" in 2006, the book was optioned by di Bonaventura, producer of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" and the upcoming Angelina Jolie drama "Salt."

When the 18-month option ran out last month, di Bonaventura asked to extend the contract for two more weeks, hoping he could complete financing for the movie. But Carlo says that when he heard Tatum was being wooed to star in the lurid gangster tale, he decided not to go ahead.

"I had to turn him down. I really hated the idea of Channing Tatum. I told 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."

Kuklinski was a notorious contract killer who worked for the Gambinos and boasted about having murdered more than 200 men. He earned his ghoulish nickname because of his method of disguising the time of death of his murder victims by chilling their bodies in an industrial freezer.

In Tatum's defense, he's tackled rough-and-tumble roles before. He portrayed Pretty Boy Floyd in the recent Johnny Depp hit "Public Enemies" and plays a tough field commander named Duke in "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra."

Di Bonaventura's spokesman, Paul Bloch, declined to comment.

Carlo's next true-crime tale is "The Butcher: Anatomy of a Mafia Psychopath," about Bonanno crime family killer Tommy Pitera, out from HarperCollins in October.



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