For a long, long time we’ve heard word Michael Mann was co-writing a sequel / prequel novel to his indelible (and about 25 other adjectives) 1995 crime film Heat. So long we began to think it was yet another item this beloved, nevertheless exacting auteur couldn’t get into motion, despite having launched the label Michael Mann Books for the express purpose of such passion projects.
Yet here we are, more than 18 months since the last real news, with an August 9 release date and trailer for Heat 2, co-written with Meg Gardiner (replacing once-attached Reed Farrel Coleman) and jumping between 1989 and 2002—some six years before and seven years after, respectively, the film itself. It starts one day after as Chris Shiherlis (start picturing 1995 Val Kilmer) trying to leave L.A., for its remainder jumping “from the streets of L.A. to the inner sanctums of rival Taiwanese crime syndicates in a South American free trade zone, to a massive drug cartel money-laundering operation just over the border in Mexico, and eventually to Southeast Asia.” [Deadline]
Heat 2‘s constellation of characters include Al Pacino’s Hanna and Robert De Niro’s McCauley in Chicago circa 1989—perhaps not coincidentally the year Mann released his dress rehearsal L.A. Takedown—Ashley Judd’s Charlene, Jon Voight’s Nate, Danny Trejo’s Trejo, and Tom Noonan’s Kelso, who Mann implies will be planning further crimes with Chris.
How duties are separated between Mann and Gardiner (best-known for her series Evan Delaney and Jo Beckett) remains to be seen, but the director’s claim to intense research here—”accumulating a lot of detailed first-hand impressions and information”—are to be expected.
Watch the preview and find the cover below: