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'Heat 2' Is Reportedly ON, With Adam Driver Playing A Younger Version Of Robert De Niro's Character

Michael Mann. Adam Driver. Teaming up for a sequel almost 20 years later to arguably the best pound-for-pound police drama in the history of cinema? LOL. Sign me the fuck up, please.

Not sure I’ve expressed enough on this blog how great of an actor Adam Driver is. Martin Scorsese once called him one of the best, if not the best of his generation. I saw him scorch the stage on Broadway in Burn This and got to shake his hand at the stage door. Guy is beyond the real deal.

Fitting that we have another fire-related title here to tie everything together, eh? Adam Driver lights it up no matter what type of role he’s playing. To be joining forces again with Michael Mann right on the heels of their collaboration on the Ferrari biopic gives me great hope for that film. This ain’t dissimilar to how Ridley Scott kept Driver right on working from The Last Duel to The House of Gucci. So nice had to work with him twice. Lezzzzzz gooooooooo.

Giphy Images.

The cool thing is that we’ll be following a young version of the Robert De Niro-originated role of criminal Neil McCauley. Some very big shoes to fill but just ask John Oliver if Adam Driver is big enough to fill them. He’s much better at articulating it than I, and I also don’t want things to get too weird up in here.

For the uninitiated, Heat came out in 1995. I didn’t see it until many years later. It’s basically cat-and-mouse between De Niro’s McCauley and Al Pacino’s LAPD Lieutenant Vincent Hanna. Val Kilmer has a key supporting role in it, as does Ashley Judd, who plays his wife. Kilmer’s Chris Shiherlis is part of a crew led by McCauley. They’re thieves, and they’re trying to pull off the biggest bank heist of their lives, with McCauley torn between a life of crime and getting away from it all with a woman named Eady (Amy Brenneman), whom he falls in love with in the movie.

I’ll tread lightly on spoilers in case you haven’t seen this masterpiece. Even as guy who’s pretty positive about a lot of movies and TV, I feel like “masterpiece” is a word that gets thrown around way too recklessly these days. Not in the case of Heat. It still holds up. Like way, way up. I suspect you won’t feel the lengthy 170-minute runtime at all when you first see it.

Heat 2 just released less than a year ago as a novel co-written by Mann and Meg Gardiner, so I imagine the silver screen adaptation will be a uniquely seamless process. If this story about a live-action sequel is already making the rounds, Mann must’ve been kicking around how to shoot this project for many years. 

My hunch is Heat 2 gets the green light and starts production sometime in 2024. Won’t be surprised if it’s in the earlier months. Warner Bros is likely to target a release slot near the end of the calendar year for awards season purposes. On the other hand, this could be a hell of a summer blockbuster. I just figure, WB might as well make this the big action tentpole of 2024, since their DC superhero properties are kicking off their reboot in earnest with Superman: Legacy. That James Gunn pic bows on July 11, 2025.

OK, now I have to celebrate how legendary Al Pacino is in Heat for a second. Please indulge me. I think you’ll have some fun.

Not sure if they'll manage to work in Al Pacino's LAPD Lieutenant Vincent Hanna into the story, but my lord that would be wonderful. Don't care how they bring him back, in what capacity, or if he's a far more reserved guy than the tour de force he was in the OG movie. Hot take, it might be Pacino's best performance.

You have the seasoned acting chops, the now-trademark gravelly voice and the apex of Al's BIG, BOLD, LOUD acting choices. He explained yeeeears later that his character chipped cocaine and that was to explain some of the odd behavior he displayed at times.

Although you reflect on it and can find it a little tragic, it's fiction. And it's hilarious. I love when actors do actor-y shit like that. It's always good for your character to have a big secret. That was Hanna's for Pacino. He chips coke off his car keys.

So many amazing parts to the first Heat featuring Pacino. The unforgettable "GREAT ASS!" interrogation scene. The iconic mano a mano with De Niro in the diner, the final chase and, of course, the un-fucking-believable shootout.

…But for my money, this is my favorite scene of Pacino's in the entire first flick. I laugh every single time without fail. It's pure bliss.

The singing bit is the tip of the iceberg.

Full disclosure: When there's a critical moment in a sporting event and I'm by myself or I'm in a loud, crowded bar, I literally scream, "GIVE ME ALL YOU GOT!!! GIVE ME ALL YOU GOT!" before the play begins. There are far worse battle cries, let me tell you — especially when you're channeling your inner out-of-skull Pacino.

"Tonight? What happened to right now!?" another amazing line delivery.

Then the button on the scene. No idea if this was improvised or not — I suspect it might've been, since he says a similar line not long before — but when Al throws in that last, "DON'T WASTE MY MOTHAFUCKING TIME!!!!" at the end…it's just…

Giphy Images.

Watch Heat if you haven't. Like right now.

Twitter @MattFitz_gerald/TikTok