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Michael Mann mulls over possibilities for his next feature film

Oct. 26, 2010by: George Merchan

Filmmaker Michael Mann (PUBLIC ENEMIES, HEAT) has been hard at work on HBO's upcoming Los Angeles-based horse racing drama "Luck", the pilot episode of which he directed. But what's the director got in mind for when he goes back to the silver screen? In an extensive interview with the Financial Times, Mann revealed information about three projects...

First, something we've already talked about: The story of Robert Capa, the war photographer, who along with Henri Cartier-Bresson, founded Magnum Photos. British playwright Jez Butterworth is writing the script. Here's Mann per the Times:

"It's about a tumultuous love affair Capa has with Gerda Taro," Mann explains. Born Endre Friedmann, Capa was a Hungarian who came to Paris. "He and Gerda invented a different persona, that he was a romantic American photojournalist. They meet in Paris as refugees despised and alone in a period of European history which is a cascade of conflicts."

Second, Mann's got his eye on an epic medieval tale set in 15th-century Europe about the build-up to the battle of Agincourt between England and France. According to the Times, the inspiration for the film came when Mann went to Paris to visit the gothic La Sainte-Chapelle.

"We went to see it and it blew me away. From that, it becomes: 'Can I locate myself, an audience, in a medieval perspective?'"

Finally, a return to gangsters and his hometown of Chicago is also in the cards, as Mann is developing a mafia story entitled BIG TUNA. The story follows Tony Accardo, boss of the Chicago Outfit crime organization, as well as the younger man who succeeded Accardo, Sam Giancana.

"Heres an older man who was the undisputed boss at a time when the Chicago outfit was the most powerful crime element in America. It becomes a classic tragedy of megalomania and hubris."

While I wouldn't be against Mann taking another dip in the gangster pool (genre is, afterall, just a template for exploring all manner of ideas and themes, so I don't necessarily think it would be retreading), I'd much rather he jump into something new. The idea of either a medieval epic (imagine that) or a thoughtful character drama is just so much more enticing.
Extra Tidbit: Michael Mann is one of my top five favorite filmmakers (THE INSIDER being my numero uno of his).
Source: Financial Times

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10:42PM on 10/26/2010
I don't know why, but whenever I hear the name Michael Mann I think of Martin Mull. And then I think of the movie Clue and then I think of Tim Curry. And that just makes me smile.
I don't know why, but whenever I hear the name Michael Mann I think of Martin Mull. And then I think of the movie Clue and then I think of Tim Curry. And that just makes me smile.
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9:50PM on 10/26/2010

When it comes to Michael Mann

my favorite territory is "Anything". I was just fretting that I hadn't seen a new MM project announced on imdb, so this is great. Of course the gut says crime, for the subject, but I really adored his DV infused style over 1930 period visuals in Enemies; I'd love to see how he'd bring a medieval setting across.

And on the digital video issue; for pity sake, the man is a quiet visionary with it. I'm amazed so many people dismiss it. It's not genius or anything, but it really works for
my favorite territory is "Anything". I was just fretting that I hadn't seen a new MM project announced on imdb, so this is great. Of course the gut says crime, for the subject, but I really adored his DV infused style over 1930 period visuals in Enemies; I'd love to see how he'd bring a medieval setting across.

And on the digital video issue; for pity sake, the man is a quiet visionary with it. I'm amazed so many people dismiss it. It's not genius or anything, but it really works for his stuff imo.
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12:46PM on 10/26/2010

George

I concur with you in that Michael Mann is one of my favorite directors and I never miss The Insider when it's on. Heat is probably my fav, but not by much. I really dug Miami Vice too because of his directional style. He also has produced some good ones as well, The Kingdom comes to mind. I am game for anything he does. Medieval would be a different direction although I would slightly prefer the WWII piece. Good reporting!!!
I concur with you in that Michael Mann is one of my favorite directors and I never miss The Insider when it's on. Heat is probably my fav, but not by much. I really dug Miami Vice too because of his directional style. He also has produced some good ones as well, The Kingdom comes to mind. I am game for anything he does. Medieval would be a different direction although I would slightly prefer the WWII piece. Good reporting!!!
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12:39PM on 10/26/2010
I would like to see a Mann Medieval movie.
I would like to see a Mann Medieval movie.
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9:06AM on 10/26/2010
Medieval Epic in digital HD!

*Sigh
Medieval Epic in digital HD!

*Sigh
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8:55AM on 10/26/2010
Definitely Agincourt
Definitely Agincourt
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8:23AM on 10/26/2010
I would watch any of those movies with Mann directing. Probably most intrigued by what he could do with Agincourt though - could be amazing.
I would watch any of those movies with Mann directing. Probably most intrigued by what he could do with Agincourt though - could be amazing.
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7:49AM on 10/26/2010
Id like to see him do the Battle of Agincourt. I just wiki searched it and its a pretty important battle in English history, however the problem with making a movie about history is you know the outcome. That being said, the Insider is based on history and thats probably one of the best movies around. He's already done the gangster thing, Id like to see something different this time.
Id like to see him do the Battle of Agincourt. I just wiki searched it and its a pretty important battle in English history, however the problem with making a movie about history is you know the outcome. That being said, the Insider is based on history and thats probably one of the best movies around. He's already done the gangster thing, Id like to see something different this time.
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9:01AM on 10/26/2010
Right now, the best movie you're going to get about the Battle of Agincourt is Brannaugh's version of Henry V. It is amazing and one of my favs.
Right now, the best movie you're going to get about the Battle of Agincourt is Brannaugh's version of Henry V. It is amazing and one of my favs.
-10
6:18AM on 10/26/2010
ya, well... mann was my favorite director (mainly because of heat and mohicans).. until he started to use fucking disgusting ugly digital cameras (well, you can use digital, if it looks good like film, but his movies just look like youtube crap)... so i don't care at all for any of his new movies (until he moves back to film)... but I still probably gonna see it.. damn.. :(
ya, well... mann was my favorite director (mainly because of heat and mohicans).. until he started to use fucking disgusting ugly digital cameras (well, you can use digital, if it looks good like film, but his movies just look like youtube crap)... so i don't care at all for any of his new movies (until he moves back to film)... but I still probably gonna see it.. damn.. :(
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8:12AM on 10/26/2010
Agreed. Films are a visual medium, which Mann has used incredibly well in the past, so why subvert that with nasty, cheap-looking images?
Agreed. Films are a visual medium, which Mann has used incredibly well in the past, so why subvert that with nasty, cheap-looking images?
9:13AM on 10/26/2010
While Miami Vice felt like a cheap homemade movie that eschewed Mann's signature character development, I think Collateral is an awesome movie, and was surprised how well Public Enemies grounded me in the time period, thanks to the DV photography, oddly enough.
While Miami Vice felt like a cheap homemade movie that eschewed Mann's signature character development, I think Collateral is an awesome movie, and was surprised how well Public Enemies grounded me in the time period, thanks to the DV photography, oddly enough.
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