While on a press junket panel for his new project Ferrari featuring the omnipresent Adam Driver these days, avant-garde director Michael Mann confirmed that Heat 2 will be his next film. However, there may be some issues with making it happen.
The storyline of Heat 2 is supposed to be in three acts, probably all intermingled into what we hope is not a hot mess of porridge:
- 1988 — Some flashbacks connected to the lives of Heat‘s main characters, Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro), Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer), and Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino)
- 1995 — These scenes will occur in continuity right before the armored truck heist by the used car lot
- 2000 — There will be some flash-forwarding of Vince and possibly Chris, who was “allowed” to drive off in the moonlight
Do you see the problem yet? Neil, who has already been cast with the aforementioned actor du jour, Adam Driver, will be in the background and scenes in the “present.”
But *sarcastic spoiler alert* Neil died at the airport so he won’t be back to pick up his baggage. What will Mann do?
Driver could dawn some prosthetics and older makeup in 1995, but that’s like recasting Wolverine. (And no, Daniel “Harry Potter” Radcliffe is not a good idea.)
Vince and Chris, who haven’t been cast, may require two actors each.
De Niro is Neil, circa 1995, to the core, and is no longer a fan of de-aging technology because of The Irishman outcry. Al Pacino said he would be down for de-aging and, if not, suggested Timothee Chalamet for his younger version (another omnipresent guy). And Val Kilmer can still act, but it would be awful if Mann did the same thing for Chris that Top Gun: Maverick did for Iceman. Once was beautiful. Another one would be damn near exploitation.
What’s a guy to do?
Bringing Back the Heat…2
Who needs a sequel when you can write a novel?
Michael Mann is, if anything, not predictable. Rumors were swirling about Heat 2 finally being made, and it was. Kinda’. This is your screenplay for the long-awaited sequel. If you haven’t read the novel, you’re missing out.
The book spans 1988 to 2000, where we find Neil’s crew perfecting their craft. On that note, Tom Sizemore, who was Michael Cheritto, is no longer with us. And well, you wouldn’t need anti-aging or pro-aging technology on Danny Trejo, who was Gilberto Trejo (yes, really), because that cat has looked 87 since he was probably 16 years old. You know what happens to Chris (Hint: “Hola!”) and a few of the other characters, but the aftermath of the great heist focuses on finding him, led by Vince.
Both Vince and Chris can be recast, but will they have to be recast twice for authenticity?
That’s Michael Mann’s world — his films could happen today. Heat was a bank heist featuring the best shootout in modern film history. Collateral is a hitman on a joy ride. Please! People do that crap on the regular. From Miami Vice to Blackhat, and all the biopics in between (e.g., Ali, The Insider, Public Enemies, Ferrari), Mann is a present force in motion pictures. He knows what he wants–and gets it. That’s a good thing because what that guy wants is usually awesome for the rest of us minions.
On that panel, Michael Mann shed a little light on his thoughts on Heat 2:
“In the prequel, I don’t want them to be the same people that they are in the movie. I want them to be very different. It’s what befalls them — the conflicts, the tragedies that happen to them — that made them into the people they are.”
Adam Driver is a talented actor–don’t let the Star Wars sequel blues fool you. He will nail Neil’s role. There is a rumor that Austin Butler (Elvis, Dune 2) is the lead consideration for Chris. And Chalamet very well could do a formidable job as Vince, although his character will get carded before going into night clubs or buying some smokes.
Despite the groundswell of love people have for Heat, de-aging tech in that film won’t age well. Wine goes through the process gracefully. Everything else is curdled milk after a few days. (Again, see The Irishman.) If Michael Mann wants them to be “very different,” they have to be original actors in various phases of life. If we are being prepared to see what “made them into the people they are,” let’s not get cute with technology.
If we can trust anyone to resist the tech temptation, it’s Michael Mann. And if he doesn’t, someone will get some heat over that decision. (Yeah, sorry. We had to do it.)