Chris Evans is to star in 'The Iceman'.

The 'Captain America: The First Avenger' actor is taking over the role of Robert Pronge - aka Mr. Softee - from James Franco, who was originally attached to the project when it was announced earlier this year.

Michael Shannon will play the lead role of Richard Kuklinki Shannon - the notorious mafia contract killer who hid his crimes from the police by freezing his victim's bodies to disguise the time of death - with Maggie Gyllenhaal playing his wife.

Chris' character is mentor to the hitman, while Ray Liota has replaced Benicio Del Toro as mob boss Roy Demeo.

David Schwimmer is also believed to be in talks to join the cast as another assassin.

Ariel Vromen - who wrote the screenplay based on the book 'The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer' by Anthony Bruno with Morgan Land - will direct.

Kuklinski's family had no idea about his crimes and thought he was simply a mild-mannered businessman.

Avi Lerner - of Nu Image/Millennium - said: "Our film is going to be fantastic. The story is riveting, the cast perfect, and all being directed by the talents of Ariel Vromen. We are pleased to be working with Bleiberg Entertainment."

Shooting on the movie is scheduled to begin next month.