Austin Butler tactical training video starts to add weight to the speculation of Heat 2 casting rumors

A viral video of Austin Butler partaking in gun training is stoking the flame of the rumor that he would be filling the Chris Shiherlis role in Heat 2.

austin butler, val kilmer, heat

Since 2022’s Elvis, Austin Butler’s star has really taken off. The former Disney and Nickelodeon child actor is capitalizing on his breakout film with roles in the recently released Dune: Part Two, where he plays the ruthless Feyd-Rautha. However, Butler hasn’t turned his back on smaller films, as he is set to co-star alongside Tom Hardy in Jeff Nichols’ period drama, The Bikeriders. And there have been rumblings that he may take on the role of Chris Shiherlis in Michael Mann’s Heat 2 — a role which was previously portrayed by Val Kilmer.

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. The Independent now reports that a viral video is 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. The viral video has picked up steam to the rumor that Butler will be taking over Kilmer’s role in the Heat sequel.

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.“

The casting for the film has yet to be announced, although it’s a strong bet that his Ferrari star, Adam Driver, will be playing De Niro’s Neil McCauley. “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.“

Source: The Independent

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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.