Neo-noir auteur Michael Mann has just inked a deal to launch Michael Mann Books, allowing readers to utilize their imaginations to visualize neon-drenched, rain-soaked city streets rather than the filmmaker’s visual flair. (For some Mann fans, it’ll be an improvement over his shift from film to digital.) On top of the pile of planned projects from the new venture is a prequel to Mann’s 1995 crime-thriller masterpiece, Heat. According to Deadline, the planned novel “will cover the formative years of homicide detective Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino), Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro), Chris Shirles (Val Kilmer), and McCauley’s accomplice Nate (Jon Voight).” Presumably, the prequel will ignore the made-for-TV movie that’s also essentially a Heat rough draft, L.A. Takedown.
Mann’s scripts have been on notable for being very expansive and literary in their takes on the characters and themes that populate Mann’s work: Criminals and cops on both sides of the law, masculinity, psychosis, and a Kinsey-style scale of morals and ethics amongst the good, the bad, and the crazy. While it’s doubtful that Mann himself will actually use the new outlet to publish his first novel, this could provide some up-and-coming authors a place to put out some work that Mann could adapt for the big screen, as he did with Last Of The Mohicans and Manhunter. The new imprint is said to be looking to put together a core group of authors with whom Mann will collaborate, in both the fiction and non-fiction realms. This should also come as no surprise, as most of Mann’s film output has come from real-life stories and meticulous research.
Conversations with publishers are to begin shortly.