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Michael Mann has stayed busy lately producing episodes of the TV series Luck (which he also directs, from time to time), though he appears ready to get back behind the camera for the first time since 2009’s Public Enemies and helm a feature-length drama.
Deadline says Mann is in talks to direct The Big Stone Grid, a crime thriller based on a spec script by S. Craig Zahler that was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics and will be produced by Moneyball producer Michael De Luca. The site compares the Grid storyline to David Fincher’s Seven or John Schlesinger’s classic Marathon Man, involving two veteran police officers who uncover a vast extortion ring that operates in the catacombs beneath New York City.
Attaching Mann to a project of that magnitude sounds wonderful, but dial back that enthusiasm for a moment. Deadline says that the Heat helmer likely will take a pass over the screenplay with Zahler to fine-tune some elements and improve on them. The site also suggests that Mann very likely could move the action from New York to Los Angeles, where he set such crime thrillers as Heat and Collateral. Would that drastically change the story? I’m way more intrigued by a crime ring that exists beneath Manhattan than I am in exploring a Southern California syndicate. Also, didn’t Drive kind of corner that market, for the time being?
Also, Mann is considering Go Like Hell for his next project, so Big Stone Grid seems more in the “development” stage than pre-production. Hell follows the intense rivalry waged between sports car manufacturers Ford and Ferrari in the 1960s. And Luck also will keep Mann detained. We’ll see in Grid actually happens – and where it happens – over time.