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Adam Driver Is in Talks to Play Neil McCauley in Michael Mann’s Heat 2

Michael Mann has confirmed that he’s “in discussion” to reunite with Adam Driver on his anticipated sequel, Heat 2. The four-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker shared the news during an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

During the discussion, the director said: “Yeah, we’re in discussion. That’s all I can say about it.”

It’s currently unknown which character the three-time Golden Globe-nominated actor would be playing in the screen follow-up to the acclaimed 1995 crime thriller. But recent reports suggest that he may be considered for the role of a younger version of Neil McCauley, who was played by Robert De Niro in the original movie. Driver has been a popular choice for the role for some time

Mann also addressed comparisons between Driver and De Niro and Al Pacino, who also starred in Heat, during the interview. “I think it’s apt to compare him to De Niro and Pacino, but I don’t think it’s generational.

The filmmaker continued: “I think it’s about approach and commitment to the moment, having no hesitations or qualms about really reaching for the high E on the violin or walking on a tightrope without a net underneath. Al does that. So, it’s artistic ambition, which is different than career ambition. (It’s) the kind of artistic ambition that drives one to try to achieve something and overcomes hesitation and fear.

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So, there’s no fear.

“There is anxiety, that you’re not going to pull it off, but you still go for it. Adam has that quality, and that’s very similar to a whole number of actors that I like to work with, whether it’s Daniel (Day-Lewis) or Bob (De Niro) or Ansel Elgort for that matter. It’s also Mark Ruffalo. It’s an attitude about your work. And by the way, it’s not ‘work; as a four-letter word. It’s work as a fantastic adventure, and why would you want to do it any other way?,” Mann added.

Heat 2 will be based on the original movie’s follow-up novel. In addition to De Niro playing criminal Neil McCauley, Heat starred Pacino as Lt. Vincent Hanna. Described as a both a prequel and sequel, the book feature stories that occur in both 1989 and 2002 with its cast of characters. The novel, which was released in August 2022, was co-written by Mann and Meg Gardiner.

Mann has faith in Driver’s ability to resurrect one of the most beloved characters in the sequel, after they first worked together on the upcoming biopic, Ferrari. The filmmaker helmed and produced the sports drama, in which the four-time Emmy-nominated actor plays Enzo Ferrari, the titular founder of the car manufacturer. Neon will release the anticipated movie on December 25.

The BAFTA-winning filmmaker explained why he felt the four-time SAG-nominated actor was the right choice to play Ferrari: “There’s a real-world, factual intelligence to Adam.

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He’s somebody who, in his own personal history, has lived life. I sense the strength and the artistic integrity coupled with a pretty fierce artistic ambition as an actor.

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It’s not political or charming, which I like a lot. It’s just there and strong.”

Penned and directed by Mann, the first Heat movie explores the conflict between Pacino’s LAPD detective and De Niro’s career criminal.

Master criminal McCauley is trying to control the rogue actions of one of his men, while also planning one last big heist before retiring. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Hanna attempts to track down McCauley as he deals with the chaos in his own life, including the infidelity of his wife (Diane Venora) and the mental health of his stepdaughter (Natalie Portman). McCauley and Hanna discover a mutual respect, even as they try to thwart each other’s plans.

Heat 2 covers the formative years of not only Hanna and McCauley, but also Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer) and Nate (Oscar winner Jon Voight). The sequel begins in 1988, when McCauley, Shiherlis and their high-line crew took scores on the West Coast, the US-Mexican border and now in Chicago.

Hanna, meanwhile, is cutting his teeth as a rising star in the Chicago police department chasing an ultraviolent gang of home invaders. The fallout from those past events causes unexpected repercussions in the present.

The sequel then leads up to the events of the first film and then moves beyond it.

The novel was met with rave reviews from critics and readers alike upon its release. As a result, the filmmaker confirmed last month that the screen adaptation of the hit book follow-up will be his next project.

Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.

Karen Benardello
Karen Benardellohttps://cinemadailyus.com
As a life-long fan of films and television shows, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic in 2008. Karen has since been working in the press in New York City, including interviewing film and television casts and crews, writing movie and television news articles and reviewing films and televisions series. Some of her highlights include attending such local events as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and New York Comic-Con, as well as traveling across North America to attend such festivals as the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the Toronto International Film Festival. She has been a member of the Women Film Critics Circle since 2012, and the New York Film Critics Online since 2019.


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