Writer-director Michael Mann is turning up the Heat in his sequel to the 1995 crime classic. The oft-mooted Heat 2 is set to adapt Mann's recent novelisation and will present the origin story of expert bank robber Neil McCauley, originally played with icy efficiency by Robert De Niro.
It's being reported that Adam Driver is in talks to play the young Neil McCauley in Heat 2. Certainly, he has the facial resemblance and requisite level of intensity to do the role justice, as evidenced in an eclectic span of roles that includes Star Wars, BlacKkKlansman, Marriage Story and The Last Duel.
If confirmed, it will be the next step in an ongoing partnership between Mann and Driver. The two have recently wrapped filming on the forthcoming Ferrari biopic, which casts Driver as the legendary Italian business owner and car designer Enzo Ferrari. The movie is scheduled for release later in 2023.
Heat 2, as per the novel (co-written with Meg Gardiner), takes place before and after the events of the original Heat movie. In addition to Neil's backstory, we also see the return of dedicated Los Angeles detective Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) and escapee criminal Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer) who was once a part of Neil's crew.
The original Heat is regarded as one of the great crime thrillers ever made, lauded for its attention to physical detail, committed performances and haunting air of isolated melancholy. The central bank robbery shootout, the staging of which was overseen by former SAS operative Andy McNab, was hailed as a breakthrough for its gut-wrenching realism and ear-splitting sound design. In fact, it's now routinely screened for Marines as part of their training.
Can Mann possibly top that sequence? And can Driver fashion his own memorable twist on Neil's character? We'll bring you more details when we have them.