“Heat 2,” as announced by Deadline, is written by Mann with co-writer Meg Gardiner, and will track the lives of the film’s characters (Robert De Niro as a professional thief and Al Pacino as a Los Angeles Police Department Lieutenant among them) both before and after the events of the original movie. Watch a teaser, shared by Mann, for the novel below.
“It’s been my intention for a long time to do the further stories of ‘Heat,’” Mann told Deadline. “There was always a rich history or backstory about the events in these people’s lives before 1995 in ‘Heat’ and projection of where their lives would take them after.”
The book will be released August 9 from the HarperCollins imprint, Michael Mann Books, and will mark the “Collateral” and “The Insider” director’s debut as a novelist. (He’s served as a screenwriter on nearly all of his film, from “Ali” to “Manhunter” and “Miami Vice.”)
The novel will start the day after the events of the movie, as Val Kilmer’s Chris Shiherlis (one of De Niro’s criminal crew) finds himself wounded and desperate to get out of Los Angeles. Then the story will move to both the six years leading up to the film’s central heist, and those immediately after it, introducing new characters and expanding the film’s criminal underworld. Key locations range from the film’s Los Angeles terrain to criminal syndicates located in South America, and a dive into a drug cartel outfit at the border of Mexico, and beyond.
The novel will also serve as a sort of origin story for De Niro’s character, Neil McCauley, and his earlier years as a rising criminal grappling with PTSD post-Vietnam. The original movie was based on the true story of Chicago police officer Chuck Adamson’s pursuit of Neil McCauley (who serves as the basis for De Niro’s character).
“My way of working with a project involves immersing into the culture of the subject and accumulating a lot of detailed first-hand impressions and information,” Mann said. “I want to know and feel that culture and the lives of the people in it. Methods, attitudes, and family values. I like to navigate these environments and operate within them. There’s an authenticity discoverable there that I believe resonates with audiences as real and true.”
The book also touches on the lives of Charlene (Ashley Judd), Nate (Jon Voight), Trejo (Danny Trejo), and Kelso (Tom Noonan). “The bank job was not the first time Kelso worked with McCauley, and not the last time he will work with Chris,” Mann said.
— Michael Mann (@MichaelMann) January 19, 2022