It’s official: Michael Mann’s next movie, Public Enemies, begins shooting March 10th in Chicago for Universal Pictures.  That should be enough.  But if you’re one of those people who didn’t see the brilliance in Miami Vice (the theatrical cut), here’s additional reason for excitement: it stars Johnny Depp as bank robber John Dillinger and Christian Bale as FBI agent Melvin Purvis. 

But you knew that already.  Well, as you might expect, the involvement of Mann, Depp and Bale has attracted some substantial talent.  La Vie en Rose‘s Marion Cotillard, currently losing every major Best Actress trophy to Julie Christie, will play Dillinger’s lover, Billie Frechette (she was not the fabled “Lady in Red”), while Channing Tatum, fresh off of Oliver Stone’s kiboshed Pinkville, will take on the role of Pretty Boy Floyd (who famously shot it out with police in my hometown of Bowling Green, Ohio).  The rest of Dillinger’s gang, however, is an odd assortment:  Giovanni Ribisi (Alvin Karpis), Jason Clarke (John “Red” Hamilton) and Stephen Dorff (Homer Van Meter).  Yes, the Stephen Dorff.

I have no idea what Mann plans to do with Dillinger’s story (which is fairly well represented on film), but anything that puts him back in the period gangster realm makes me think of Crime Story.  And I like thinking of Crime Story.  I’m just surprised that Universal is diving back into business with Mann after the many… difficulties of Miami Vice.  That Depp guy makes a difference, I guess (he says as Sweeney Todd underperforms). 

But it ain’t my money!  As far as I’m concerned, Universal should spare no expense.  And if they feel like flying my Mann-worshipping tuchus out to the windy city this spring, I believe that would be money very well spent.