Michael Mann’s Heat 2 Sequel Book Was Almost a Video Game
Director Michael Mann is releasing a sequel to Heat, his explosive 1995 crime thriller starring Al Pacino as eccentric police detective Vincent Hanna and Robert De Niro as his career-obsessed counterpart, bank robber Neil McCauley. The sequel to this tinnitus-inducing bank robbery movie will arrive this summer as a book, Heat 2: a novelwhich Mann co-wrote with prolific thriller writer Meg Gardiner.
Heat 2 will tell the “before and after” story of the film’s main characters, according to a trailer for the book, and promise a “deep dive” into Hanna’s life in Chicago six years before the events of Heat. Mann told Deadline, “There’s always been a rich story or story about what happened in the lives of these people before 1995 in Heat and a projection of where their life would take them next.
Expect a similar exploration of the background of McCauley and his accomplice, Chris Shiherlis, played by Val Kilmer in the film. Heat 2 will start immediately after HeatThe botched bank robbery of, with an injured Shiherlis trying to escape Los Angeles. Deadline for writing the plot of Heat 2 points to a global thriller, with a story spanning 12 years of crime drama that unfolds from Taiwan to Mexico to Los Angeles to Southeast Asia.
Mann previously spoke of a Heat prequel in 2016. He then created the Michael Mann Books imprint, with the intention of probing his television and film creations for new novels. Editor William Morrow will carry out this long gestation plan on August 9, when it is released Heat 2: a novel.
But Mann had his eyes on a Heat sequel/prequel long before 2016. And its Heat successor was designed to arrive in the form of a video game, developed by the Borderlands studio Gearbox Software. At E3 2006, a company called Titan Productions announced that it had reached an agreement with Heat owner of the rights Regency Enterprises to make a video game sequel to Mann’s film, with Gearbox handling development of the planned PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game. According to a report from GameSpot, Titan claimed the project is “at an advanced stage with representatives from Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer to be part of the video game sequel.”
“There’s something about this concept I call ‘hardcore heist’ that’s never really been done well in a video game, yet everyone on the planet has thought about robbing a bank or something at some point. or another,” said Gearbox Software President Randy. Pitchford said of the project in 2006. “Heat pretty much defines what hardcore heist means and it gives us a narrative mechanism to consider both sides.
At least one popular video game had already attempted to imitate Heatthe memorable bank robbery by then: Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto Vice City. “The Job” mission put protagonist Tommy Vercetti and his friends in overalls and hockey masks, a tribute to Heatarmored car theft scene, in city of vicelooting of El Banco Corrupto Grande. Like Heatthis heist ends in a shootout with an escape from a SWAT team.
Rockstar has revisited the Heat-break style with Grand Theft Auto 4‘s “Three Leaf Clover,” a bank robbery in ski suits and goggles, followed by a more dramatic, desperate shootout with Liberty City cops.
Another video game series that came years later, Overkill Software’s paydaywas directly influenced by Heataccording to studio co-founder Simon Vicklund. Payday 2 even had a map called Heat Street, a replica of Mann’s climactic shootout on the streets of downtown Los Angeles.
But Gearbox’s plan to bring Heat itself to video game consoles never came to fruition. In a 2009 interview with GameSpot, Pitchford said development of the game went “nowhere”.
“We have passionate game makers who would love to do this,” Pitchford said. “We have filmmakers who think it’s a great idea and would love to see it done. We have publishing partners who would love to release it. But we don’t have the time. That’s the limiting factor.
“From a talent perspective, we had a lot of interest,” Pitchford added. “[…] no deal was done, but we were very confident that, from what I understood, Pacino was in and that Val would do it. De Niro wanted him, but there had to be other conversations with him. He is not a player himself.
Pitchford said Gearbox had done “pre-production efforts with some development partners starting to feel asset creation and what the reach of the world may be,” but the project never got past the dream stage and full. production. The studio was also growing Borderlands and Aliens: Colonial Marines at the time – “at the edge of our abilities”, said Pitchford – and eventually gave up Heathoping someone else could get the property back.
It should be noted that Titan Productions also announced game plans with directors John Carpenter for a shooter called Psychopath and Guillermo del Toro for a post-apocalyptic zombie horror game called Sleep, which never came to fruition. So don’t blame Gearbox too much for Heat: the video gamelaunch failure.