Michael Mann has decided to offer both a sequel and a prequel to his masterpiece “Heat”. Not in the form of a film (for the moment anyway), but with a novel of which he unveiled a trailer with a publication date.
A trailer for a novel by Michael Mann
The year 1995 was marked by the release ofHeat, undeniable masterpiece of Michael Mann. Perhaps his most famous film today, a perfect film, some would say, marked by the power of the filmmaker’s direction and his perfect cast. There is not only Robert De Niro and Al Pacino who do the job playing respectively an outstanding thief and a tenacious cop. Each supporting role offers an exemplary performance, whether it be Val Kilmer, Tom Sizemore, Amy Brenneman, Wes Studi or even a young Natalie Portman.
Heat is a reference which is constantly rediscovering itself, and we would never have imagined its author going back on it. However, in 2019, we learned that Michael Mann wanted to write the sequel. A novel on which he had actually been working since 2016 and which has just been revealed with a trailer posted by the director himself on his Twitter account.
What will tell Heat 2 ?
Obviously, who says novel, says absence of image. At least in theory. But Michael Mann puts us back in the mood for Heat with images of Los Angeles at night and the piece God Moving Over the Face of the Waters by Moby which already accompanied the end of his film. We then find the title, Heat 2, as well as two dates: 1989 and 2002. For a “before and after” the events of the feature film, as announced by Michael Mann before.
For more plot details, see Deadline. The American media announces that Heat 2 will begin one day after the events of the film alongside Chris (Val Kilmer). We left the latter barely recovered from an injury, leaving his partner Charlene (Ashley Judd) to escape the police. In the novel, he will then seek to leave Los Angeles. From there, the story will alternate between the lives of certain characters six years earlier, and another criminal case, years later, spanning from Los Angeles to Taiwan to South America and the cartels.
We can therefore discover a little more who was Vincent (Al Pacino) following him from 1989 in Chicago. It was there that he experienced conflicts within the police and his marriage ended in failure by dint of prosecuting criminals. We will also learn more about Neil’s past (Robert de Niro), on Chris, but also on Charlene, Nate (Jon Voight), Trejo (Danny Trejo) and Kelso (Tom Noonan). As a reminder, it is the latter who in the film Heat provided the bank plans to Vincent. Michael Mann explained, again via Deadline, that this “wasn’t Kelso’s first time working with McCauley, and not the last time he’ll work with Chris.“. For the rest of the story, we will have to wait next august, date of publication of the novel in English (pending a translation).
The novel before the film?
We therefore inevitably wonder whether Heat 2, which promises to be very cinematic, may then give rise to an adaptation. In the idea, Michael Mann was not against. He even let himself open door in serial format to stage this story. But, for now, there is nothing concrete. He would, of course, parallel adapted his novel into a screenplay. But from there to being able to launch the production of a feature film (or a series)…
In any case, we cross our fingers because we know the talent of the filmmaker and we know that he leaves nothing to chance. The very idea of the novel is quite logical when you know that he writes the whole story of his characters without actually using them in his films, but to give them a more precise characterization. So he already had a serious base to work on.
I had intended to do the other Heat stories for a long time. There has always been a rich history or back-story about the events of these people’s lives before 1995 in Heat and the projection of where their lives would take them after.