James Franco has pulled out of The Iceman, one of two upcoming biopics about a notorious mafia hitman.

Just Jared reports that the Rise of the Planet of the Apes star has left the project due to contractual issues.

A source said: "James pulled out because he couldn't come to an agreement on key contractual issues that didn't involve financial terms."

The film is based on Anthony Bruno's book The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer, which tells the story of hitman Richard ‘The Iceman’ Kuklinski.

Michael Shannon was in line to play Kuklinski while Franco was set to play the hitman's mentor assassin named Robert Pronge.

Franco also pulled out from another project in August, a Broadway production of TEnnessee William's 1959 play Sweet Bird of Youth.