Today, Michael Mann is predominately associated with the big screen — indeed, few filmmakers make movies quite as big and cinematic as things like “The Last Of The Mohicans,” “Heat,” “Public Enemies” and yes, our beloved “Blackhat” (you’ll learn to like it one day, fools). But the director made his name in TV, initially writing on “Starsky & Hutch” before creating the acclaimed “Police Story,” and helping to shepherd the iconic “Miami Vice” and the less well known, but highly influential “Crime Story.”
Aside from his abortive collaboration with David Milch on HBO’s “Luck,” which was cancelled while early in production on a second season after controversy over mistreatment on set of horses, Mann hadn’t yet followed many of his A-list contemporaries to the current small-screen boom. But Deadline reports that that has just changed, with the news that Mann is teaming up with “Black Hawk Down” author Mark Bowden for a new limited series.
Mann and producer Michael De Luca have picked up the rights to Bowden’s new book “Huê 1968,” which will be published next month, with the intention of turning into into an 8-10 hour event miniseries. The book tells the story of the Tet Offensive, the key event in the Vietnam War that saw a mass surprise attack on the capital of Vietnam in the title, with characters ranging from a young revolutionary schoolgirl to President Lyndon Johnson.
For all his usual subject matter, Mann hasn’t really tackled wartime subject matter like this since his mad horror movie “The Keep” in the early 1980s, and has never directly tackled the Vietnam War, so this should be a fascinating opportunity (Mann is apparently committed to directing multiple episodes of the show). It seems like early days yet — no writer has yet been hired, and Mann is thought to be gearing up to make his Enzo Ferrari biopic with Hugh Jackman and Noomi Rapace, so this could be a ways off. But expect a bidding war with HBO, Netflix, et al hoping to land the project.