Okay, so Michael Mann made Heat, which would take a lot more than Public Enemies, crappy though it was, to undo. Add in all of his other delights like Collateral, and I am naturally very interested in what Michael Mann does next, though it comes with the slightest bit of trepidation when one possibility is another Chicago gangster film.
The latest Mann news comes from two stories, one from the LA Times that focuses on his new show Luck, and another from Deadline that drops the details known about Agincourt, one of his potential feature projects. The LA Times piece is a great read and goes in to depth about Mann’s work on the HBO show that, like Marty with Boardwalk Empire (new episode review up soon!), he will be directing the pilot and executive producing the whole series. His plans are to hop quickly back into theatrical filmmaking though, and therein lies the question- what film will he be making?
Agincourt, which tells the story of the events leading up to the famous battle between France and England in the 1400s, is the most likely contender it seems. Based on the book by Bernard Cromwell, it would tell the story through the eyes of a young archer who is saved from his death sentence by the king because of his talents. The archer goes on to save a young woman from a priest and to participate in the battle itself. The other possible project, Big Tuna, is a mob story about Tony Accardo who spent 30 years leading the Chicago “Outfit.” During a portion of that time he stepped aside and let day-to-day operations fall to Sam Giancana, who eventually started living too lavish of a lifestyle– things didn’t work out so hot for him, let’s say.
Whatever Mann ends up doing, I hope he’ll scale back his need for edgy filmmaking tools and looks, and focus on telling a good story well. There’s been too much focus on his digital filmmaking (the case for which was not helped by the ugly, amateurish look and sound of Public Enemies) and not enough on the sort of rock-solid filmmaking that made the famous shoot-out in Heat so goddamn classic. I don’t give a fuck what camera captures Mann’s next project, I care if the script is solid and the style is appropriately finished-feeling. Just give me that, and whatever he lines up will be, for me, among the most anticipated of that year.
Luck doesn’t hit TV screens until next year, but it sounds like a great project, so expect more coverage as details emerge.