Austin Butler Addresses ‘Heat 2’ Casting Rumours With BH
— 7 June 2024

Austin Butler Addresses ‘Heat 2’ Casting Rumours With BH

— 7 June 2024
Garry Lu
WORDS BY
Garry Lu

For months, the internet has been buzzing with the prospect of Austin Butler taking over from Val Kilmer as Chris Shiherlis in Michael Mann‘s forthcoming Heat 2.

The whispers were instigated by certain inside sources, and took on a whole new dimension when footage of the Elvis, Masters of the Air, and Dune: Part Two star undertaking heavy-duty firearm training with Taran Tactical surfaced (without any further context).

RELATED: ‘Heat 2’ Will Begin Shooting This Year, Reveals Michael Mann

During last night’s Sydney premiere of Bikeriders, we managed to corner the 32-year-old thespian on the red carpet in the pouring rain to squeeze a paradoxically evasive-yet-telling comment from the man himself.

“I can’t tell you anything about that,” he said with the slightest of smirks, before relenting when the line of questioning shifted to a more “hypothetical” nature.

“What I can say is this: I adore the first film and I’m a huge fan of Michael Mann… Also the novel. Have you read the novel? It’s very good.”

The Godfather Part II-esque, we added. To which he replied: “Yeah, exactly… So yeah, that’s what I can say. Let’s go get dry.”

Last April, in the wake of the novel’s success, Deadline indicated Mann was in active negotiations with his Ferrari leading man Adam Driver to portray a younger version of Robert De Niro’s Neil McCauley.

Elsewhere, Al Pacino informally nominated Butler’s Dune: Part Two co-star Timothee Chalamet to take on the role of a young Vincent Hanna. Of course, for the time being, nothing is 100% certain on this front.

Back in May, while speaking with Variety, Michael Mann provided a juicy update on the long-gestating continuation of his iconic modern crime thriller — as previously alluded to above, a prequel/sequel hybrid a la The Godfather Part II based on the aforementioned bestselling novel he published with Meg Gardiner circa 2022.

“I’m busy writing the screenplay, so I get very respectful, very pleasant calls from Warner Bros saying, ‘Is there anything we can do to help?’ which translates into, ‘Where’s the screenplay?’” joked the 81-year-old filmmaker of Collateral and Thief fame.

Mann added: ”My plan is to absolutely make it next year.” (Note: the interview was initially recorded in December 2023.)

While there’s certainly a backlog of projects he’s keen to undertake before it’s too late, including a sci-fi flick and a World War II movie, for the time being, Heat 2 remains the top priority.

“The reason for Heat 2 was because there was so much depth in the characters and in the research that had been done for the movie,” he explained.

“I knew what De Niro’s character Neil McCauley was doing when he was 11 years old, when he was in a foster home and wore hand-me-down clothes and started turning savage.”

“Or Al Pacino’s character Hanna, growing up in Granite City, Illinois, and not knowing what to do with his life, and winds up in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive.”

“The one character who does not know himself, who isn’t complete, not unified, is Chris Shiherlis. The Val Kilmer character.”

“How and when he finds himself and becomes as integrated a player as McCauley or Hanna and taking that into South East Asia and, as well as Ciudad del Este in the three frontiers.”

“All of these are places I visited and spent a lot of time exploring and developed, so it’s truly an extension and so that’s what I’m most excited about right now.”

At this stage, while casting hasn’t been revealed in an official capacity, we know for certain that Heat 2 will definitely involve a new crop of actors such as Adam Driver, Austin Butler, and potentially Timothee Chalamet. None of this de-aging shenanigans like what we endured with Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman.

“In the prequel, I don’t want them to be the same people that they are in the movie,” stated Michael Mann.

Heat True Story

RELATED: ‘Top Gun 3’ Has Been Cleared For Take-Off

“I want them to be very different. It’s what befalls them — the conflicts, the tragedies that happen to them — that made them into the people they are.”

Check out the synopsis for Heat 2 (the book) below.


Heat 2 Synopsis

One day after the end of Heat, Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer) is holed up in Koreatown, wounded, half delirious, and desperately trying to escape LA. Hunting him is LAPD detective Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino).

Hours earlier, Hanna killed Shiherlis’ brother-in-arms, Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro), in a gunfight under the strobe lights at the foot of an LAX runway. Now, Hanna’s determined to capture or kill Shiherlis, the last survivor of McCauley’s crew, before he ghosts out of the city.

In 1988, seven years earlier, McCauley, Shiherlis, and their highline crew are taking scores on the West Coast, the US-Mexican border, and now in Chicago. Driven, daring, they’re pulling in money and living vivid lives.

And Chicago homicide detective Vincent Hanna — a man unreconciled with his history — is following his calling, the pursuit of armed and dangerous men into the dark and wild places, hunting an ultraviolent gang of home invaders.

Meanwhile, the fallout from McCauley’s scores and Hanna’s pursuit cause unexpected repercussions in a parallel narrative, driving through the years following Heat.

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Garry Lu
WORDS by
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]

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