MICHAEL MANN: Iconic Director Launches "Michael Mann Books"

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Deadline just dropped an exclusive that the writer/director of iconic films such as Ali, Manhunter, Collateral, Insider and of course, the apex of crime films, Heat. Has just inked a deal for his own book company. Deadline reports:
Writer-director Michael Mann, long one of the most literate translators of words to the screen, has made a deal to launch Michael Mann Books. The imprint will generate a series of novels with a stable of writers and the properties will simultaneously be developed for film and television. Mann will look through his own long list of credits for ideas, and a big piece of news here is that high on the priority list is a prequel novel dealing with the principal characters of Heat, Mann’s seminal crime thriller. The prequel novel will cover the formative years of homicide detective Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino), Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro), Chris Shihirles (Val Kilmer), McCauley’s accomplice Nate (Jon Voight), and other characters so brilliantly layered in the 1995 film. Mann based that film on stories of a lot of real criminals and cops, and references to past experiences are peppered throughout the picture.
This is huge for a few reasons. The first, Mann, allegedly has had a hard time getting films to production over the last decade. This is mainly attributed to the fact that studios only want to make big budget "tentpole" movies (mostly PG-13 superhero projects) or smaller production houses team up with other producers to scrap together 20 million max  for they're features. Michael Mann's movies are large in scope, talent and execution. Usually putting him in the 40-60 million range before P&A. On top of that they are mostly violent and rated R. Right now the only directors that are still getting greenlit in the R rated category on a consistent basis are the Scorsese's (which usually have Leo Decaprio as insurance) or Quentin Tarantino. Which is a  top to bottom travesty. As Deadline pointed out, the big draw here would be a Heat prequel. If Mann is on board, this would draw top shelf talent and production, it would kill! Before we go any further nothing has been officially green lit outside of a book, but it would be odd that a major studio wouldn't wan't to option the material simultaneously with the book as not only was Heat a hit, it continues to hold up as one of the greatest cinematic crime dramas, resonating with younger generations 20 years later. Lets have some fun and throw Michael Mann a pitch. Mike, if your reading this, I'll do you a solid and let you have this one on the house. Let's enter fantasyland: First and foremost, this movie has to be directed by the man himself, anyone else and it would come off as a cheap cash grab. The story would have to mostly revolve around Robert De Niro's character Neil McCauley. You need the hard edge that De Niro used to bring to his roles but you still need to cast someone that has the talent to interpret the character decades before we would see him in Heat. Pure speculation here but i would guess that McCauley was late 40's early 50's in Heat. McCauleys character mentions in the film that he had done numerous stints in jail and that he had made the decision to never go back. Subtract 15 years from the original, that lands the movie in 1979-1981 and  puts McCauley in his 30's. You would need to cast an actor like a Jake Gyllenhaal and if you saw him in Prisoners it's hard to argue that he wouldn't be PERFECT!Signature-1 So you would have a young McCauley played by Jake Gyllenhaal coming back to LA in the early 80's, looking to put together a new crew to "take down scores". He would interact with his old friend Nate, his bagman that was brilliantly played by an unrecognizable Jon Voight. download (3) In this case, and I'm swinging for the fences here, Nate would probably be the second lead, therefore I could see someone like a Casey Affleck or even, on the high end, Ryan Gosling being perfect for Nate... Definitely Gosling with a wig and cool facial hair.  So Nate and McCauley are planning they're next score. Meanwhile you have a young Vincent Hannah (Pacino's role). This Vincent Hannah wouldn't have the panache or the balls as the one from the original yet. He would have just made the jump from patrol to detective. In my mind they're is only two actors that could play this role properly: Mark Ruffalo (who could play one of your parents and you wouldn't know the difference)  or Oscar Isaac. The stage is set, the two main characters are equally learning the ropes of LA but from different sides of the law.  Along the way McCauley puts his team together, some new names, some that we recognize. Val Kilmers character, Chris, would be a kid, so this works. He takes Chris under his wing, Chris would probably show a natural knack for this type of work, it would show in an early heist, McCauley recognizes this. I'll throw out Rami Malek's name for Chris. Yes, I know, he looks nothing like Val Kilmer, but Chris most definitely wouldn't have grown his sweet ass pony tail yet. Plus Malek nails the almost sociopathic, charming demeanor that Kilmer exhibits in the original. If your looking for more of a Val Kilmer lookalike, Garret Hedlund would be spot on. val_posing_in_suit_and_holding_machine_gun_heat On the opposite end, you thrown in a new character, an older detective for Vincent Hannah to follow around. The point of the prequel would be to show how these characters ended up the way they are in Heat (see Better Call Saul). It's also important to note that Pacino and Deniro's younger versions never cross paths or if they do, neither of them know it as Heat was the first time either of them had heard of each other. So theres my pitch, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Gosling and Oscar Isaac leading an ensemble cast that takes place in the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles in the 80's . An Ex Con, trying to put his life together, crossing paths with gang members, pimps and crime lords. A cop, young and idealistic, gets caught up in the system and corruption of the LAPD. Sold. Mr. Mann, you can have this one for free
  Words by Michael Cherrito Image Credit valkilmer.com, youtube.com