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How Michael Mann Plans For Heat 2 To Appear On Screen

Michael Mann's "Heat" became a box office action hit back in 1995 when the notion of making and releasing a three-hour crime drama was not unheard of. It helped that the movie featured the first on-screen pairing of Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro in addition to terrific supporting performances from Val Kilmer and Jon Voight. "Heat" was a crime film that upended the genre in how it combined deep, psychological insights into how police and criminals share similar personality traits in executing their goals. The film was also one of the best action movies of the 1990s, with many classic movie scenes that are flawless in their delivery.

"Heat" was written and directed by philosophical filmmaker and novelist Michael Mann, who along with Brian DePalma and Martin Scorsese, elevated the crime movie to a propulsive, thought-provoking, and graphic style in late-twentieth-century filmmaking. With previous films like 1981's "Thief" and 1986's "Manhunter," Mann's style infused elements of neo-noir and psychoanalytic thriller inside of a cat and mouse narrative.

After the success of "Heat," talk of a sequel was immediate, but the film's being based upon a true story limited the possibilities of a direct follow-up. But Michael Mann's abilities as an artist go beyond filmmaking and have unlocked the possibilities of a sequel.

Michael Mann will adapt Heat 2 from his novel

In a recent interview with Empire, Mann revealed that the sequel to "Heat" will be published as a novel in the late summer of 2022. Speaking of the possibilities of this format, Mann revealed, "The ability to deep-dive into the internal world is fascinating, and you can do that best in a novel." The novel will serve as both a sequel and a prequel to the film with a prominent focus on the character of Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer).

A major sticking point that is unfortunate but reflects the passage of time and the bulk of the novel being a prequel will be the absence of actors Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, and Val Kilmer. Mann commented, "I love those guys, but they'd have to be six years younger than they were in 'Heat.'" In the age of long-form television, where a miniseries or anthology series is readily available to tell a sprawling story, Mann insists a future adaptation will be a movie. Although three-hour epics are not as common on the large screen today, Mann intends to adapt the novel into "one large film."

For fans of "Heat," a return of the story to cinema screens is welcome news and unique since many film sequels typically become long-running sequels and prequels that overstay their welcome. Redditor u/Satean12 says, "If Ridley Scott can make Alien Prequels and a Gladiator sequel 20-40+ years later, Mann can make a Heat prequel/sequel 30+ years later."