ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) ― The hunt for Alaska’s most infamous serial murderer is about to get the Hollywood treatment.
Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage will star in “Frozen Ground,” a movie detailing the police investigation of serial killer Robert Hansen, Variety reported Wednesday. He will play an Alaska State Trooper who investigated the murders.
Filming is scheduled to start in Anchorage on Oct. 10, a second major production filmed in Alaska in the last year. Filming wrapped up last autumn on Drew Barrymore’s “Everybody Loves Whales.”
Emmett Furla Films is financing the $27 million Cage project and producing with Amber Entertainment, Variety reported. Messages left for both by the Associated Press weren’t immediately returned Wednesday.
Alaska baker Robert Hansen, 44, who admitted killing 17 women and raping another 30 over the space of 12 years, leaves a court in Anchorage in this file photo. Variety reports that Nicolas Cage will portray the Alaska State Trooper who investigated the murders that gripped Anchorage in “Frozen Ground.” (AP-Yonhap News)
Hansen, who got the nickname “the Butcher Baker,” was convicted in 1984 after confessing to killing 17 women and raping another 30 in a 12-year span.
He received a 461-year sentence and is incarcerated at a state prison in Seward.
Hansen owned a bakery in a downtown mini-mall in the 1970s and `80s. He lived across town with his wife and children, and they knew nothing of his other life.
The construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline in the 1970s brought prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers and con artists to Alaska’s largest city, all hoping to pry away some of the big money construction workers were pulling in.
Those who sought quick money left as abruptly as they arrived in Anchorage, making sudden disappearances commonplace.
Glenn Flothe was the trooper who put Hansen behind bars. Now retired, he didn’t immediately return a message to the AP on Wednesday.
But he told the Anchorage Daily News in 2008 that Hansen’s victims initially included any woman who caught his eye but that Hansen quickly learned that prostitutes and strippers were harder to track and less likely to be missed.
“He tried to make us think that he had some kind of moral code but the reality was that these street girls and the girls in the bars were easier victims,” Flothe told the newspaper.
Hansen would abduct the women and take them to isolated places outside Anchorage. Sometimes he would drive; other times the licensed pilot would fly.
Investigators said in some instances, he would rape the women but return them to Anchorage, warning them not to contact police. Other times, authorities said he would let the women go free in the wilderness and then hunt them with his rifle.
Officials only found 12 bodies of the 17 women he confessed to killing. The others have never been located.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Cage would play Flothe in the movie since so many troopers were part of the investigation.
Dave Worrell, manager of the Alaska Film Office, said the production is close to receiving pre-approval for state tax credits, meaning they would be eligible to regain 30 percent of what they spend in Alaska on the production.