Heat Novel Coming in 2022 Is Both a Prequel and a Sequel

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Michael Mann’s Heat novel is both prequel and sequel, exploring the origins of Robert De Niro’s career criminal and Al Pacino’s unstoppable cop.

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Director Michael Mann has revealed a release date of “next summer” for his first in what could be a series of novels centered around his seminal crime drama, Heat. The filmmaker is planning on crafting a novel that will ace as both a prequel and a sequel, with the story set to explore the backstories of criminal colleagues Val Kilmer and his character Chris and Robert De Niro’s Neil McCauley, among others.

“It’s so vivid, worked out and thorough that compelled us…we’ve written a novel. Not on Heat, but everything preceding Heat and everything following Heat and it’s because these characters are so vivid. It’ll be coming out next summer.”

Of course, further exploration of the inhabitants who live in the intense world of Heat would not be complete without Al Pacino’s obsessive, self-destructive Los Angeles detective Lieutenant Vincent Hanna. During the interview, Mann revealed that the rumor regarding the character having a secret cocaine addiction is indeed true, and went on to provide some insight into the character’s origin, something which will also be investigated in the upcoming novels.

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“I have a complete biography of Vincent Hanna, from when he grew up in Illinois, who his father was, driving trucks for some rural Illinois bootleggers, and how he wanted to flee for something else and it was either go to some lousy local college, but instead he joins the Marines and winds up [part of] Tet Offensive in Vietnam and then what he sees there and his desire to go to law school… then he joins the Chicago police department. What he really wants in his life is discovering a pursuit. I’m not who you want Justine, all I am is who I’m going after.”

Released in the distant past of 1995, Heat follows a successful career criminal (Robert De Niro’s Neil McCauley), who considers getting out of the business after one last score. After a botched heist leaves three security guards dead, an obsessive cop (Al Pacino’s Lieutenant Vincent Hanna) desperately hunts McCauley down in order to put him behind bars. The legendary cop and robber are destined to cross paths in this crime-thriller masterpiece, which brings together acting behemoths De Niro and Pacino together for the first time. The supporting cast includes Val Kilmer as Chris, one of McCauley’s partners; Ashley Judd as his wife Charlene; Jon Voight as Nate; Hank Azaria as Alan Marciano; and Henry Rollins as Hugh.

Heat was a critical and commercial success, grossing a total $187 million worldwide against a $60 million budget, and while the movie remains one of the best examples of a standalone crime thriller to ever be put to screen, Michael Mann is eager to return to this cast of characters, even teasing a comeback beyond the novels he has planned. “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,” Mann said back in May last year. This comes to us from The Rewatchables.


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