Austin Butler is speculated to be playing Val Kilmer’s role in Michael Mann’s sequel to Heat. The actor finally responds to those speculations.

Last Updated on May 22, 2024

Michael Mann confirmed during his press tour for Ferrari that his next film project would be adapting his novel, Heat 2, which serves as both a sequel and a prequel to his popular 1995 film that famously pitted together legendary actors Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. Not much is known about the film other than Mann being keen to work with Adam Driver again after Ferrari. However, speculation had grown that Elvis’ Austin Butler would be occupying the role of Chris Shiherlis, which had previously been played by Val Kilmer. Then, there would be fuel added to the fire of rumors thanks to a viral video that was making the rounds which shows Butler doing some gun training at Taran Tactical, which is the same facility where Keanu Reeves trains for the John Wick films.

Butler is currently doing the press tour for his upcoming project The Bikeriders, which sees him starring opposite Jodie Comer and Tom Hardy. The period drama is directed by Jeff Nichols and Butler had filmed the project right after portraying Feyed Rautha in Denis Villeneuve’s Dune: Part Two. In Total Film‘s new issue, Butler would field the inevitable question during an interview on whether or not the rumors of the Heat sequel are true. The Dune: Part Two star would keep his lips sealed tighter than if he were in a Marvel film. Butler simply replied,

Yeah, I… I mean, I love the first film, but no comment on that.”

Butler diverted attention towards another project he can talk about, which is a western from Ari Aster called Eddington. He glows, “I’m really excited about Eddington. I mean, the cast is stacked with people I’ve always dreamed of working with. And it’s also from the mind of Ari Aster, who is truly brilliant and completely singular. He’s come up with something here that I think is really, really unique and exciting.”

Mann recently confirmed on Variety’s Awards Circuit Podcast that his plan for Heat 2 is to “absolutely to make it [in 2024].“ He revealed that he’d been hard at work on the screenplay and Warner Bros’ enthusiasm for the project has them checking in on him, “So I get very respectful, very pleasant calls from Warner Bros. saying, ‘Anything we can do to help?’ Which translates to, ‘Where’s the screenplay?’“ Mann also thinks audiences are ready for a new story from the Heat universe, saying, “It’s sustained in culture. 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 video 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.“

About the Author

E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.

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