MOVIE NEWS – Michael Mann’s iconic crime drama, Heat, will be presented in the form of a novel, covering the 1995 film’s prequel and the characters’ afterlives.
It’s now official that Michael Mann’s classic crime drama, Heat, is to be followed – or rather expanded – by a novel. Michael Mann has reported that he made the decision back in 2016 to write a book about the untold stories of the film, including prequels and much of the post-’95 plot. Heat has undoubtedly become an epoch-making film that has inspired many other similar works over the past 27 years. The performances of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, and the cat-and-mouse game between their characters, made the original film one of the best of its kind.
Then, of course, as fan expectations are obviously very high, many will question whether the same tense and brilliantly executed action sequences can be translated into a novel that the 95 film so brilliantly delivered. According to Michael Mann, readers can expect plenty of “cinematic action scenes” in the pages of the book, and the writer will try to reproduce all the things that made the original film a success.
The original Heat is set in 1995, and stars Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) as the boss of a group of thieves and Vincent Hannah (Al Pacino) as the lieutenant determined to put McCauley’s gang behind bars. The cat-and-mouse game that ensues will have a growing impact on both their professional and personal lives, and eventually it leads to Hannah’s divorce. But the story is made even tenser and tougher by the brilliant action sequences, which took a lot of preparation by the cast and crew. All the actors had received firearms training from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the iconic firefight between Hanna and McCauley was set by British Special Air Service sergeants who assisted Mann.
Mann says it was necessary for him to immerse himself in the details of the film:
” 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. I want to know and feel that culture and the lives of the people in it.”
“When I was writing the film, it was imperative for me to create complete life stories about all the characters and to know everything about them. It’s been my intention for a long time to do the further stories of Heat. There was always a rich history or back-story about the events in these people’s lives before 1995 in Heat and projection of where their lives would take them after.”
So the creator had a lot of background material for each of the characters even before the original film was made. Consequently, he came up with a truly original plan for the novel when he announced that it would be both a prequel and an aftermath. Deadline exclusive reported on what we can expect from the novel:
The novel begins in 1989, when Chris Shiherlis is on the run from Los Angeles. Hannah’s life will be given a lot more focus in the book, his service in Vietnam, his years with the Chicago Police Department will all be featured in the book, which will tell us how he mastered his skills and what led to his passion for catching criminals. We will also learn more about the backgrounds of McCauley and his partners Chris Shiherlis, Charlene, Kelso, Nate and Trejo, and what led them to a life of heist. The novel will also feature new locations such as Mexico, South America and Southeast Asia, with a focus on the workings of international criminal organisations. The novel will finally pick up again with its characters in 2002. Not much is known about this storyline yet, we will probably find out what will happen to the characters after the plot of the 1995’s Heat.
Michael Mann and his co-writer Meg Gardiner are planning to publish the novel sometime in August 2022, which could also be a fitting end to the whole Heat lore. The idea sounds very exciting, and fortunately we won’t have to wait much longer to see how Mann has managed to depict the deep and complex world we saw in the original film on paper.
Here you can see the official trailer of the novel: