Michael Mann Gives An Update On The Status Of The Heat Prequel

Michael Mann, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro on the set of Heat (1995)

Michael Mann has given moviegoers a number of notable films over the years, including The Last of the Mohicans, The Insider and Ali. But the film that has arguably become his most influential work is Heat, the 1995 crime thriller starring Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Val Kilmer. While film told a relatively finite story, Mann expressed interest in expanding upon it with a prequel novel under his Michael Mann Books banner. Not much has been said about the project in the past few years but, now, the veteran director has provided an update.

Like many others in Hollywood, Michael Mann has been forced to put his projects on hold due to our current circumstances. He still seems to be using the time wisely, however, as he recently revealed that the manuscript for the Heat prequel is on his desk and is being worked on. He also confirmed that he has cinematic hopes for the project:

It’s a stack about 10 inches high on my desk right now. We’re on it, and I’m putting time into that and a screenplay I can’t tell you about. But I absolutely want to make a movie of the Heat prequel.

The prequel to Heat has been a long-gestating project for Michael Mann, who reportedly finished writing the novel back in 2016. Though it sounds like there’s still work to be done before it can hit bookstore shelves, Mann’s comments to Deadline are encouraging.

But what’s even more exciting to here is that Mann eventually wants to bring the story to the silver screen as well. It’s been nearly 30 years since Heat hit theaters, but fans are undoubtedly ready to re-enter that universe.

The original Heat centered on Lt. Vincent Hanna, a veteran robbery-homicide detective with the LAPD, played enthusiastically by Al Pacino. In the movie, Hanna pursues Robert De Niro’s professional bank robber Neil McCauley, who gets on the cop’s radar after a failed robbery attempt. The prequel novel will reportedly focus on the early years of the characters.

This would, of course, mean that younger actors would be needed to portray the actors for a theatrical adaptation, a course of action that's being taken by other projects. It goes without saying that Pacino and De Niro are two of the greatest actors to ever grace the screen, and having to play characters they’ve established could be a daunting task for any actor. Still, fans will surely have fun speculating who could embody the iconic roles in a potential film.

All in all, it appears Michael Mann still has more to say about his famous characters, but it could still be a while before the project actually comes to fruition. One also has to wonder if Mann himself would actually return to helm the potential movie. Regardless, with him working behind the scenes in some capacity, the next installment in the Heat story could be a compelling tale.

But what do you think of a Heat prequel? Should it still be made? Let us know in the comments section below.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.