'Heat' Novel From Director Michael Mann Due Out Next Year

Three years ago, word came that Michael Mann would be returning to the world of Heat with a prequel novel. But after the initial announcement, no additional info arose, and you'd be forgiven for forgetting the project was even happening. Now, Mann himself has provided an update, stating that a Heat novel is definitely still in the works, and will be published next year.

While giving a shout-out to the fantastic Heat-centric podcast One Heat Minute, director Michael Mann casually reminded us all that he's working on a Heat-related novel. As Mann says, he's working on the novel, which will feature characters from Heat, with author Reed Farrel Coleman, and the book will be published by Harper Collins next year.

Mann doesn't specify what the book is about, but there's a very good chance it's the long-awaited prequel novel that's been brewing for a few years. In 2016, Mann signed a deal to launch the imprint Michael Mann Books. At the time the deal was announced, word arose of a Heat prequel novel which would focus on 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), and other characters" from the 1995 crime epic. Heat wasn't the first time Mann told the story of Al Pacino's Vincent Hanna. His 1989 TV movie L.A. Takedown, which started its life as a TV pilot that never got picked up, was essentially a trial-run for Heat, with Scott Plank playing Hanna.

In 2017, the Heat prequel novel came up again, when it was announced Mann had finished his long, ardious search for a co-writer on the book by selecting Coleman. The Coleman news came accompanied with the claim that the book would be out in 2018. Obviously, that didn't happen. But now it looks like the Heat novel will finally see the light of day.

I'm all-in on this idea. While a Heat prequel movie, with younger actors playing the parts made famous by Pacino and De Niro, would probably be a terrible idea, bringing them back in a novel can work. The only qualm here is that Pacino and De Niro's characters didn't meet until the events of Heat, which means they would likely never cross paths in the prequel book. Unless they both end up with amnesia. What a twist! I've reached out to Harper Collins to see if they could provide additional info about the Heat novel, and will update accordingly if I hear anything new.