Actors We'd Love To See In The Heat 2 Movie

In 1995, director Michael Mann delivered what is arguably the greatest heist film ever made in "Heat." It sees Robert De Niro as an expert thief named Neil McCauley who finds himself at odds with Al Pacino's Lieutenant Vincent Hanna as McCauley's crew narrows in on a big score. What emerges is one of the best cat and mouse crime thrillers to ever grace the silver screen.

Now, nearly 30 years later, we have a sequel in the form of the novel "Heat 2," which Mann actually co-wrote. Not only that, but the filmmaker has already revealed that he has every intention of turning the novel — part prequel and part sequel — into a film as well. But, unless we're going to go "The Irishman" route and de-age everyone very expensively, we are going to need new actors to fill these roles. So, who should fill out the cast? We've got some suggestions!

Basically, the actors need to be able to play the roles seven years prior to the events of "Heat," as well as in the immediate aftermath. The idea here is to get someone who can do both, using makeup and other techniques to make them look a bit older/younger depending on whether we're in the prequel or sequel part of the story. With that in mind, let's dig in.

Bradley Cooper as Robert De Niro's Neil McCauley

Finding someone to fill in De Niro's shoes is a tall order. Part of what makes his performance so great is that it is very understated. Save for perhaps "The Hangover" films, Cooper has made quite the career out of being both handsome and understated, while also having range available. Just look at something like "Silver Linings Playbook," in which he played De Niro's son. Cooper is the right age, has the look, and certainly has the chops to do it. At the time "Heat" was made, De Niro was one of our biggest and brightest movie stars. Now? Cooper is one of the current generation. It's a passing of the torch in some way.

Oscar Isaac as Al Pacino's Vincent Hanna

So often when fans on the internet begin sharing their dream casting for a role, Oscar Isaac's name comes up. There is a very good reason for that as Isaac has cemented himself as one of our finest actors, in everything from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" to lesser-discussed roles such as "Triple Frontier." But if there is one man that can capture that Pacino-in-his-prime energy, it's this man. Heck, Isaac very much channeled Pacino already in "A Most Violent Year." Plus, picturing Isaac's Hanna working against Cooper's McCauley becomes easier to picture. Apologies to Mr. Pacino, but Timothee Chalamet just is a bit too young.

Jeremy Allen White as Val Kilmer's Chris Shiherlis

Val Kilmer is a very singular performer and is extremely tough to pin down. In "Heat," the actor was at the top of his game and at the height of his career. Chris Shiherlis, the loyal, gambling addict criminal is easily one of his best roles to date. Finding someone to imitate Kilmer would be a fool's errand. What you need is someone who also has an energy that is a little tough to pin down who could interpret that performance. "The Bear" star Jeremy Allen White seems up to the task. The actor broke out in a big way on Hulu's food-centric series, but White has delivered great work elsewhere including "Shameless" and the wildly underseen "The Rental." He's not Kilmer, but nobody is. Let him have a crack at capturing the spirit of Kilmer at least.

Michael Shannon as Jon Voight's Nate

Jon Voight can go from reserved yet effective ("National Treasure") all the way to off-the-rails ("Anaconda"). Actors working today who fit the age and look are few and far between, but Michael Shannon feels like a natural fit. From "Man of Steel" to "Knives Out" and everything in between, Shannon has proved to be one of most compelling actors working today, capable of doing almost anything while having that magnetism that is hard to define. If anyone can capture the mysteriousness of Nate, aid to the criminals of the world, it's Shannon.

Natalie Portman as Diane Venora's Justine

Natalie Portman had a role very early on in her career as Vincent Hanna's stepdaughter in "Heat." Her mom? Diane Venora. Oddly enough, as Portman has come into her own, she actually looks more like Venora around that time than one would have imagined. A little bit of black hair dye? She could absolutely return to the world of "Heat" once more to play an entirely different role. It would be a fun way to bring things full circle and, as far as actors go, it's hard to do much better than Portman in terms of raw talent. (It's worth noting that this character doesn't really appear in "Heat 2" save for flashbacks, but Portman's character from the first movie does make a brief appearance). 

Michael Gandolfini as Tom Sizemore's Michael Cheritto

Tom Sizemore is and has been one heck of a character actor for a long time. He was a key member of McCauley's crew in "Heat," so naturally he would return for the prequel parts of the sequel (if that makes any sense). Sizemore, again, has a unique energy and look about him. The answer? Michael Gandolfini. The son of the late James Gandolfini certainly has the look and, in "The Many Saints of Newark," he earned enough respect to command a big role in a big sequel. This feels like a real chance to see what the kid can do in a very different kind of crime thriller.

Daisy Ridley as Amy Brenneman's Eady

Eady is a wildly important character in "Heat," offering McCauley something he didn't know he needed: companionship. Yet, as we see at the end of the film, the master thief is still willing to walk away from anything — including perhaps the love of his life — in the interest of evading the law. Undoubtedly, the aftermath of the bank heist would involve some questioning of Eady so she would be a factor in "Heat 2." Daisy Ridley, known best as Rey in the "Star Wars" sequel trilogy, absolutely has the look if we put her under a big head of curly hair. Beyond that, Ridley really hadn't had as much opportunity to shine in the aftermath of "Star Wars" as she should have. This would be a great chance to see her flex her skills in a new way.

Julia Garner as Ashley Judd's Charlene Shiherlis

One of the emotional anchors of "Heat" is Ashley Judd, who plays Chris' wife Charlene. Throughout much of the film, it's contentious between them. However, in the final moments, we see the love between them once more as Chris makes his escape with the quiet help of his wife. Capturing that would be a tough task but Julia Garner, who has proven her ability to absolutely transform in shows like "Ozark" and "Inventing Anna," seems more than up to the task. She's a chameleon, the right age, and certainly has the chops. What more could you ask for?

Danny Trejo as Danny Trejo's Trejo

Lastly, and just for fun, how the hell could we not address Danny Trejo's character who was (and this is true!) named Trejo in the film. If you're going to de-age one person or just wilfully ignore the age difference for the sake of something good, let Danny Trejo come back and play the part again. Why not? Trejo has a very singular energy and I'm willing to bet audiences would overlook the age difference just to have him back on screen. Plus, at least having one returning cast member would be nice, wouldn't it?