Few crime dramas are as engrossing and well-crafted as Michael Mann’s Heat.
Initially released in ’95, it’s a true white-knuckle ride featuring best-in-class performances from Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. And that’s despite the fact that they barely share any screentime together. But when they do, it’s electric. Toss in Val Kilmer’s gun-toting Chris Shiherlis, and you have all the makings of a modern classic.
It’s small wonder, then, that Mann continues to flirt with the idea of revisiting Heat, leading the esteemed director to pen his own prequel novel. Granted, it’s still teetering on the verge of release, but when it emerges, blinking into the sunlight, it’ll chart 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” from Mann’s masterpiece.
And best of all? Mann is keen to develop said prequel novel into a movie. When asked about how his book is progressing, he told Deadline:
It’s a stack about 10 inches high on my desk right now. We’re on it, and I’m putting time into that and a screenplay I can’t tell you about. But I absolutely want to make a movie of the Heat prequel.
Word is Michael Mann’s Heat prequel novel has been finished since *checks notes* January 2019, so it’s really only a matter of time before we get a closer look into the “formative years” of Vincent Hanna, Neil McCauley, and Chris Shihirles.
Perhaps most interesting of all is McCauley (Pacino), who lives his life by a tried-and-tested code: Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner. That’s lifted from Heat‘s centerpiece moment, in which McCauley comes face-to-face with Vincent Hanna.
Here’s hoping Michael Mann’s Heat prequel novel – and subsequent movie, providing everything goes according to plan – is able to channel the same electric energy as its beloved forebear.