Michael Mann Is Releasing HEAT 2 as a Novel

Filmmaker Michael Mann is releasing a follow-up to his beloved film Heat. But this time it’s a novel. One that serves as a prequel and sequel to the 1995 crime drama. Heat is one of the most beloved crime dramas in modern cinema. It saw Robert De Niro and Al Pacino together on-screen for the very first time in a scene that is truly an all-timer.

According to Deadline, which first shared the news, Heat 2 picks up where the film left off. Specifically the next day, as the still-injured Chris Shiherlis tries to escape LA. The novel shifts between 1989 and 2002, six years prior to the events in Heat and several years after. Mann cowrote the novel with Meg Gardiner. 

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That means we’re catching up with all the characters from the film, including the many who didn’t make it out alive. Specifically, the novel will show us Hanna’s earlier career in the police force, including his background and the events that lead him to the LAPD homicide division. And, of course, the toll his career takes on others. (Read: his terrible love life, as Heat documents.) 

Al Pacino in the 1995 movie Heat
Warner Bros.

Since Heat 2 introduces us to a younger Hanna, we’re also going to reunite with Neil McCauley six years before his demise. The 1989 section will also feature the thieving exploits of McCauley and his allies, including Chris Shiherlis, Trejo, Nate, Charlene Shiherlis, and Kelso. The same Chris Shiherlis who, of course, goes on to anchor the 2002 section of the novel.

Mann told Deadline that while writing the 1995 film, he created detailed biographies for all of the major characters, including, from Hanna and McCauley to Chris and Charlene. And so we can expect much of Mann’s novel to be based around the profiles he created back in 1994. The novel is the culmination of a project Mann’s talked about for several years, announcing initial plans for a novel back in 2016. Now, it’s finally come to fruition, launching this year. 

Robert De Niro and Val Kilmer in the 1995 movie Heat
Warner Bros.

Does this mean we’re one step closer to more on-screen Heat? I could certainly see this nabbed as a miniseries, more so than a pair of films. Guess we better start fan-casting… unless Mann plans to chat with Martin Scorsese about de-aging technology.

Heat 2 is Michael Mann’s first novel and is releasing through HarperCollins imprint William Morrow. The novel debuts on August 9.

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