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Heat 2 is coming, as Michael Mann sets release date for sequel/prequel novel

When writing the film, Mann says, "it was imperative for me to create complete life stories about all the characters and to know everything about them."

US actors Robert DeNiro (L) and Al Pacino (R) pose with director Michael Mann as they arrive for the 06 December world premiere of the film "Heat" in Burbank, California. The crime drama stars Pacino as a Los Angeles detective out to catch a notorious bank robber played by DeNiro
Robert De Niro, Michael Mann and and Al Pacino at the world premiere of crime masterpiece Heat in 1995.
Vince Bucci/AFP via Getty Images

If you feel the heat around the corner, it's because there's a sequel to the classic crime movie Heat on its way. Writer and director Michael Mann is picking up where he left off, although sadly without Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in their iconic roles as cop and robber. Instead, Heat 2 will be a novel, and it's coming out Aug. 9.

Intriguingly it's a sequel and a prequel, telling stories about the movie's characters both before and after the events of the film (which is just as well given how many don't actually make it to the closing credits). Yes, Heat is getting the Godfather II treatment.

The novel is co-written with mystery thriller writer and Edgar award winner Meg Gardiner. The story follows Val Kilmer's character, Chris, as he attempts to escape LA in the aftermath of the film's disastrous bank robbery and chaotic shootout, exploring the wider scope of international crime from the Mexican border to Taiwan. And it flashes back to Neil McCauley and Vincent Hanna, the two men on opposite sides of the law memorably played by De Niro and Pacino, in their earlier lives in Chicago, as failed marriages, Vietnam trauma and broken families drive them toward their violent confrontation.

"When I was writing the film, it was imperative for me to create complete life stories about all the characters and to know everything about them," Mann told Deadline, "including Neil McCauley's early institutionalized years when he lost track of his brother, before he parachuted into the streets, young, angry and dangerous."

Sadly, the two actors are probably too old to make Heat 2 as a film, although surely someone at least suggested to Mann that they Irishman the legendary stars into younger bodies with digital effects.

Here's the trailer for the book, complete with Moby's haunting God Moving Over the Surface of the Water, which soundtracked the film's intense final moments.

Although Mann hasn't directed anything since 2015's cyberthriller Blackhat, he's a busy producer and is reported as directing forthcoming films about racing legend Enzo Ferrari, mobster Sam Giancana and the Tet Offensive, as well as the pilot episode of Japan-set TV series Tokyo Vice (no relation to Mann's own TV series and movie Miami Vice, however).

Heat 2 will be published by Harper Collins through the filmmaker's Michael Mann Books imprint.