Michael Mann is a divisive filmmaker, sure, but the greatness of his 1995 film Heat is rarely disputed. So, it should be cause for celebration that a sequel is in the works, and maybe it is. But the way it’s being generated, as a part of a new Michael Mann blockbuster book-to-film farm, does not inspire great hope.
The way it’s being generated is this: Michael Mann has created his own publishing imprint, called Michael Mann Books, which employs a stable of writers to create novelizations of movies and television properties that Mann has already worked on. This is, if you want to get fancy, a weird kind of furthering of what was discussed in our “TV-Novel Complex” piece a few weeks ago. It’s also similar to James Frey‘s 2010 venture, where he trapped young writers into contracts meant to crowdsource books that would translate perfectly into blockbuster franchises. They aren’t exactly the same, but both are gross grabs at money.
This gross grab at money could result in a prequel to Heat, which we might actually have some idea about, plot-wise, thanks to Deadline. “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).” Oh, so, not really plot details so much as confirmation of the most obvious possibility, but still. We’ll be holding our breath for the Blackhat novelization.