Will Michael Mann’s “Heat” Sequel Also Involve a Return to Film?

The director has been using digital video since "Collateral"

Michael Mann
Michael Mann attends the "Ferrari" Special Screening, Q&A and Reception at Linwood Dunn Theater on December 13, 2023.
Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for NEON)

Twenty years ago, director Michael Mann’s Collateral made history for a then-unorthodox decision made for its production. Collateral, you see, was filmed using digital cameras — and while this is far more commonplace now, a filmmaker like Mann opting against celluloid felt like a borderline-shocking moment. Now, reading about an A-list film being shot on digital isn’t exactly news — it’s more like the status quo, with some high-profile exceptions.

Some of that can be credited to directors like Mann and David Fincher making the case through their work that there’s nothing inherently contradictory between auteur-driven filmmaking and working with digital video. All of which makes it a bit surprising to hear that Mann is considering a return to film for his proposed sequel to Heat.

That’s the big takeaway from a recent article at IndieWire. The article chronicles an interview Mann gave at an event at the American Cinematheque earlier this month. An audience member, IndieWire reports, asked Mann if he would ever return to film for a project.

“My next film is going to be ‘Heat 2,’ and I’m considering shooting that on film,” Mann replied.

Mann went on to clarify that he could see the advantages of both film and video, depending on the project. “The only orientation I have is that if you’re going to shoot video, treat it like a new medium and shoot to exploit what the new technology can do,” he added.

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Other than the existence of Heat 2 as a film — following the novel published in 2022 — there are few details available as to what to expect. Last month, The Playlist reported that the casting of the film hadn’t yet taken place — other than telling The Playlist that the story’s role as both prequel and sequel to his 1995 film would make finding the right actors a challenge.

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