4 Actors We'd Want To See Play Young Al Pacino In A Heat Prequel

If you haven't yet heard the news, Michael Mann's "Heat" is getting a follow-up. While in the form of a novel and not a new movie, it will still follow the events of his 1995 crime classic, centering once again around LAPD detective Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) and criminal mastermind Neil McCauley (Robert DeNiro). However, this time the narrative will switch between a prequel and a sequel to the film, showcasing Hanna and McCauley's younger and older lives throughout.

When speaking at the Tribeca Film Festival screening of the new 4K "Heat" restoration, Pacino was asked who he thought could play him in a theoretical prequel to the film. His answer may or may not surprise you.

"Timothée Chalamet," he reportedly answered. "I mean, he's a wonderful actor. Great looks."

While it's obvious that this answer was made in good fun, it did get us wondering what current, young actors would be able to take on the iconic role of Hanna. Here is what we came up with.

Timothée Chalamet

Okay, yes, this is the obvious choice. After all, Chalamet was the person Pacino suggested should play a younger Hanna in the first place. While it might have been a one-off joke, we can't deny and say that the 26-year-old actor wouldn't be a good fit for the part.

Let's get the obvious part out of the way; he does kind of look like a younger Pacino. While not bearing a perfect resemblance, they could certainly pass as relatives in a movie together. Looks aside, Chalamet is arguably one of the most talented and charismatic actors of the current generation. It doesn't matter whether he's experiencing young — albeit toxic — love in the Italian countryside, selling drugs throughout Cape Cod, or even plotting an eventual takeover of planets, Chalamet's got talent, something that needs to be apparent when you're stepping into the shoes of one of our greatest living actors.

Calam Lynch

Of course, Chalamet shouldn't be the only actor in contention for this theoretical role. While not yet a recognizable name, it probably won't be long before Calam Lynch breaks through into the mainstream. Through his roles in "Benediction" and "Bridgerton," he's solidified himself as an actor to watch out for, even outside of his family's long and winding acting history. It doesn't hurt that he bears a slight resemblance to Pacino, either.

Perhaps the biggest problem with this casting is Lynch's credits, which don't exactly scream "modern crime movie." Outside of a couple of short films and a recent modernized version of "Black Beauty," all of his credits have been period pieces. Even more specifically, they've mostly been romance films or dramas, with the exception being a brief stint on "Derry Girls." However, there's always the chance that he's got the manic energy needed to portray Hanna — he just hasn't had the chance to showcase it. 

Here's to hoping we get to see Lynch in more modern, gritty pieces in the future.

Jack O'Connell

Jack O'Connell has come quite a long way since playing a promiscuous dealer in "Skins." Amassing a strong resume and a variety of different roles, it might not matter that O'Connell doesn't have the strongest resemblance to Pacino. What does matter, however, is that he can more than easily carry himself as a younger, more naive Hanna that a theoretical "Heat" prequel would show.

Case in point, his turn as a gun-touting investor in Jodie Foster's "Money Monster." While the movie itself received mixed reviews, O'Connell was able to incorporate in all the right emotions as a man who takes a cable finance show hostage after he was the victim of a scam stock. This role could have easily been one-dimensional if not for the pain he exhibits throughout. It is this dynamism that makes O'Connell a theoretically great choice as Pacino's younger self, despite the lack of similar facial features.

Let's be real here, though. No matter how hard these young actors want to try, there is only one Al Pacino. That is why the next best option for this role is...

Al Pacino with de-aging technology

You read that correctly.

Here's the thing, you could argue that his Hanna is the best part of "Heat," and any attempts at replacing him would prove futile. Why ruin a perfectly good thing?

That's why the best possible choice to play Hanna in a "Heat" prequel is Pacino himself. Sure, he's 82 years young, but he can certainly carry himself the exact same way he did in the 1995 film. All he needs is a younger look, which could be achieved through the various de-aging technologies and techniques available now. It's not like Pacino is a stranger to de-aging, having portrayed Jimmy Hoffa in Martin Scorsese's 2019 film "The Irishman." Admittedly, he would have to be de-aged a lot more than he was to play Hoffa, but I presume we'll be able to get him back looking like he did in "The Panic in Needle Park" when the technology matures in a few years.