We are on the verge of Michael Mann releasing his highly-anticipated “Heat” follow-up novel. And, as you might expect, discussion about the “Heat” prequel/sequel novel brings up questions about a possible film, which Mann has already expressed interest in previously. In a new interview on the WTF Podcast with Marc Maron, the filmmaker teased that development on another “Heat” film, based on the novel, is already underway.
Before this discussion on WTF, Mann had already talked about wanting to turn his “Heat” novel into a film, though it would bring its own complications. You see, the book takes place in two timelines, a la “Godfather Part II.” The first bit is a prequel to the events of Mann’s classic crime film, while the other timeline takes place seven years after the conclusion of “Heat.” Obviously, this makes the scope of a film adaptation of the novel a more massive affair than the relatively tight, smaller-scale original.
“This is a book, but it’s also going to be a very large movie,” teased Mann.
READ MORE: ‘Heat 2’: Al Pacino Recommends Timothée Chalamet To Play His Younger Self In A Potential Sequel
“It’s going to be a movie?” Maron asked, somewhat incredulously. “Oh yeah,” Mann replied, emphatically.
When asked if work on the film was already underway, Mann replied, “Yes, I can’t talk about it, but yes,” which likely means a script is being actively developed. Maron said he always thought the book would be in place of a movie, and Mann replied, “No.”
READ MORE: ‘Heat’: Michael Mann’s Symphonic Drama & The Tragedy Of Masculinity
Of course, you can’t talk about a “Heat” follow-up film unless you bring up the elephant in the room—casting. You see, if it’s a prequel, it’s easy to cast younger versions of the original characters. But for the parts that take place post-“Heat,” that’s going to be a little more tricky considering the film will only cover about seven years after the events of the first film. All that said, Mann sounds like he knows exactly who he wants for the casting.
“I always wanted to explore the early lives of these guys,” Mann said. “Also, to find a way to bring the past into the present and the present being about 2002, seven years after the events of ‘Heat’ the movie.”
So, how do you cast that if it’s going to be a film? Given that Al Pacino is 82, Robert De Niro‘s character is dead, and Val Kilmer is 62 and has all but retired due to the way his throat cancer has impeded his speech (though yes, he appeared in “Top Gun: Maverick” briefly).
“In very large ways,” Mann said, cryptically with a chuckle.
Production is about to embark on Mann’s “Ferrari,” production of which should be underway already. Mann called the project “a spectacularly operatic melodrama [about] real life,” so we have that one to look forward to as well.
In addition to the discussion of another “Heat” film, Mann also talks about the films that got away or that he eventually passed on, like “The Aviator,” which he handed off to Martin Scorsese, and an arms dealer film he was writing with “The Insider” journalist Lowell Bergman, which might be “Arms For The Man,” but the names of the subjects are completely different, so maybe not. Either way, it’s a fascinating conversation and you can listen to the entire thing below: