You can either wait for projects to come your way or start creating those opportunities for yourself. And Michael Mann is doing the latter in a big way. Earlier this week, it was reported that the director was launching a publishing imprint, Michael Mann Books, to develop novels that will also be the basis for television and movie projects. A prequel to “Heat” has already been announced as part of the slate, but coming first is another crime tale.
Deadline reports that Don Winslow (“Savages“) has been tapped to write a book about Chicago crime kingpin Tony Accardo and his successor Sam Giancana, which will be turned into a film produced by Mann, who may also direct. It’s pretty familiar ground for both Winslow and Mann, who cut their teeth on crime stories, and this one is boosted by the fact that the director has landed rights and access to “undisclosed material” from Accardo’s family.
Fans of Mann know that this isn’t the first time the director has shown interest in the saga of Accardo and Giancana. Years ago, Sheldon Turner (“Up In The Air“) was hired to write “Big Tuna” (which is also Accardo’s nickname) about the criminal pair, but the project never got off the ground. But the director is very attracted to themes that play out in this story.
“Here’s an older man who was the undisputed boss at a time when the Chicago outfit was the most powerful crime element in America. It becomes a classic tragedy of megalomania and hubris,” Mann told the Financial Times in 2010.
Given that Winslow will get started on the novel this spring, with a release planned for 2017. As for Mann, the endeavor it speaks to his commitment to research; once he gets a interested in a subject, he rarely lets it go.