Heat 2 Is Really Happening, Star Wars Icon Joining The Cast?

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Updated

adam driver
Adam Driver as Kylo Ren

At the recent Contenders London event, legendary director Michael Mann made a significant announcement that has fans buzzing. The celebrated filmmaker not only confirmed his commitment to helm Heat 2 but also dropped tantalizing hints about Star Wars icon Adam Driver potentially starring in the film. As reported by Deadline, this intriguing information ensures a highly anticipated sequel. 

Michael Mann confirmed Heat 2 will be his next movie and teased Adam Driver is reuniting with the Ferrari director.

Earlier this year, whispers about the sequel to Heat potentially featuring the iconic face from the Star Wars universe abounded. The chatter centered around Driver portraying a young Neil McCauley who, for those who may not recall, was initially brought to life by Robert De Niro in the original film. Press buzz also mentioned Warner Bros involving itself in the venture. 

Admittedly, nothing is cemented regarding Heat 2 starring Adam Driver. Though, when the topic was broached, Mann—a hint of mischief glinting in his eye—could neither confirm nor deny the rumor, instead volunteering a very tantalizing maybe. The director went on to detail how well the Kylo Ren actor and he got along on the set of Ferrari, in which Driver starred. The Ferrari director also conveyed that he and the actor share a dedicated, unrelenting work ethic, are genuinely fond of one another, and have the same artistic sensibility. 

robert de niro
Robert De Niro in Heat

Intended as a narrative serving both as a prequel and a sequel to the original film, Heat 2 (whether it stars Adam Driver or not) encapsulates the journey of McCauley, Chris Shiherlis (previously played by Val Kilmer), and Vincent Hanna (portrayed by Al Pacino in the original). Jumping liberally across times and settings, the film’s plotline will cover periods before and after the events of the initial movie.

The novel Heat 2, written by Michael Mann and Meg Gardiner, was released this past August.

Much of the story transports audiences back to 1988’s Chicago. Basing their operations there, McCauley, Shiherlis, and their adept, albeit criminal crew busy themselves orchestrating heists across the West Coast, the volatile U.S.-Mexico border, and Chicago itself. Concurrently, Hanna earns a name for himself, rising through the ranks of the Chicago Police Department, all while fervently pursuing a nefarious gang specializing in home invasions.

Given the rumors, it is hard not to imagine Heat 2 without Adam Driver playing McCauley, lending the character and film his smoldering talent. But the original version of Heat 2 (yes, there are two versions of the story) excluded the actor—and all actors. 

Why? Because it’s a novel. 

Michael Mann and Adam Driver teamed up for Ferrari, which makes it likely that the pair will be back together again for Heat 2.

Indeed, upon its release in August, the novelization soared to the top position on the New York Times bestseller list. This is, in no small part, a testament to the engaging narrative and stellar reputation of its cinematic predecessor. The latter was not only a massive hit upon release in 1995 but has ascended the ranks of crime cinema, graduating into a revered classic.

Whether or not Heat 2 stars Adam Driver, for fans awaiting more of Mann’s work, Ferrari, a project he’s been passionate about for two decades, gears up (pun intended) for a Christmas Day release. Starring Driver, Penelope Cruz, and Shailene Woodley, the film revolves around Enzo Ferrari’s fixation with the perilous Mille Miglia race, and the movie should be a thrill. Moreover, it should tide us over until the sequel to Heat roars into theatres.