Heat 2: Michael Mann Promises to Go Full Christopher Nolan for Robert De Niro Sequel in 1 Way That Even Tom Cruise’s Collateral Couldn’t Afford

Michael Mann plans to take the Christopher Nolan route for Heat 2.

Heat 2: Michael Mann Promises to Go Full Christopher Nolan for Robert De Niro Sequel in 1 Way That Even Tom Cruise’s Collateral Couldn’t Afford


  • Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan is known for preferring film instead of digital to shoot his features.
  • Michael Mann is now considering using celluloid capture for Heat 2.
  • The sequel to Robert De Niro's thriller will be based on Mann's new novel.
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Christopher Nolan, who was named best director at the Golden Globes, is among a rare few filmmakers whose methods of transforming his screenplay into a feature film get as much attention as the final product we see on the big screen itself.

Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan.

His inclination for using practical effects and mastery at utilizing in-camera effects was once again highlighted in Oppenheimer. This while, his crew recreated the Trinity Test through their own explosion and some in-camera magic to achieve the desired punch. Nolan’s cameras also introduced viewers to the subatomic world. Impressively, the whole feature documentary was shot on film – which is a rarity in the era of digital filmmaking.

Now, an A-list director who was one of the first to embrace the new style of filming at the turn of the century is set to return to the Nolan way.


Read more: Christopher Nolan’s ‘Oppenheimer’ Broke a Record That Even Surpasses Avengers: Endgame

How Michael Mann Is Preparing to Go Full Christopher Nolan for Heat 2

Michael Mann was one of the first top directors to abandon film for digital, adopting the latter for Tom Cruise’s 2004 neo-noir action thriller, Collateral. He never looked back and filmed all of his subsequent features – four to be precise – using digital capture rather than celluloid.

A still from Michael Mann's Ferrari (2023)
A still from Michael Mann’s Ferrari (2023).

However, during a Q&A (via IndieWire) after Cinematheque’s screening of Heat Mann suggested he may return to film and go full Christopher Nolan for the sequel of the Robert De Niro starrer.


“My next film is going to be Heat 2,” Mann responded to an audience member’s question about shooting on film. “And I’m considering shooting that on film.” 

The 80-year-old added he has no prejudice either way before explaining that he shot Collateral digitally to explore the unique look it could give to his night exteriors.

For Johnny Depp’s Public Enemies (2009), the idea was to put viewers in the 1930s rather than have them observe the 1930s. Mann felt that the film wouldn’t have extracted the desired result.


Read more: “I don’t know why everybody thought that”: Michael Mann Debunked a Long-Standing Heat Rumor About Al Pacino and Robert De Niro That Made No Sense

How Michael Mann Plans to Shape the Storyline of Heat 2

Heat, which pitched De Niro’s Neil McCauley, a professional thief, against Al Pacino’s detective Hanna, is one of Mann’s most celebrated works.

Michael Mann with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro on the sets of Heat
Michael Mann with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro on the sets of Heat.

After the success of his 2022-published novel Heat 2, which he co-wrote with Meg Gardiner, the filmmaker is set to turn the story into a feature film. The novel follows McCauley and his crew’s scores on the West Coast, the U.S.-Mexico border, and in Chicago.


The sequel gives the background and conclusion of the major characters’ story, with Mann confirming he would begin Heat 2 where the original film left off.

Adam Driver, who worked with Mann in Ferrari last year, is expected to play the young version of De Niro’s character.


Written by Vishal Singh

Articles Published: 514

Vishal Singh is a Content Writer at FandomWire. Having spent more than half a decade in the digital media space, Vishal specializes in crafting engaging entertainment- and sports-focused stories. He graduated from university with an honors degree in English Literature.