Heat 2: Austin Butler Reacts to Casting Speculation

Butler plays coy about starring in Michael Mann's sequel.

From Elvis Presley to Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, Austin Butler has been attached to some pretty iconic characters. One that fans have especially wanted to see is Chris Shiherlis, the character originated by Val Kilmer in Michael Mann's iconic 1995 crime drama Heat. With Mann confirming that Heat 2 is his next planned project, fans have been waiting for Butler's casting to potentially become a reality, but it looks like he is continuing to play coy about his potential involvement in the film. In a recent interview with Happy Sad Confused, when host Josh Horowitz mentioned that we don't know whether Butler is cast in Heat 2, the actor joked, "Neither do I."

"I think that film, what they did with it, is something that inspired me a lot," Butler continued. "I think it inspired so many actors, and I mean, to get to see De Niro and Pacino together for the first time in that way. It's such an authentic film as well, so visceral. But I think any opportunity to work with a master like Michael Mann is a gift to any actor who gets to work with him." 

Will Adam Driver Star in Heat 2?

At the time of this writing, no cast members have been confirmed for Heat 2. In addition to Butler, Adam Driver, who just worked with Mann on last year's Ferrarihas become a popular fancast online to join the film. Mann has played coy about the possibility, without ruling it out just yet.

"Perhaps," Mann said of the possibility of reuniting with Driver in an interview late last year. "We don't talk about that yet. Let me put it this way: Adam and I got along like a house on fire [on Ferrari]. We have the same work ethic – which is pretty intense. We like each other and we had a great time working together artistically."

What Is Heat 2 About? 

The Heat 2 novel, co-written by Mann and Meg Gardiner, Meg Gardiner tells the story of everything that happens before and after to the film's principal characters. The novel jumps between two time periods, the first following Chris Shiherlis as he tries to evade LAPD and Detective Vincent Hanna following the bank robbery gone bad with the second taking us back to Chicago in 1988 when McCauley, Chris Shiherlis, and their high-line crew are taking scores on the West Coast, the US-Mexican border, and now in Chicago. At the same time, Hanna is cutting his teeth as a rising star in the Chicago police department chasing an ultraviolent gang of home invaders. The fallout from McCauley's scores and Hanna's pursuit cause unexpected repercussions in a parallel narrative.

"Is it a modest movie? No. Is it a very expensive series? No," Mann said of his hopes to adapt Heat 2 in an interview with Empire last year. "It's going to be one large movie."

"It's sustained in culture,"  Mann said. "It's known. I could delude myself into thinking that the whole world is familiar with it, but when you check out its prominence in home vid for over 20 years, this thing really has legs. People are still watching it, people are still talking about it. It's a brand. It's kind of a Heat universe, in a way. And that certainly justifies a very large ambitious movie."