“I don’t know why everybody thought that”: Michael Mann Debunked a Long-Standing Heat Rumor About Al Pacino and Robert De Niro That Made No Sense

Michael Mann explains the truth about the controversial coffee shop scene in Heat.

Michael Mann Debunked a Long-Standing Heat Rumor About Al Pacino and Robert De Niro That Made No Sense

Even movies from the ‘90s still get the spotlight today as new discoveries and details emerge, just like Michael Mann’s Heat starring Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. The movie may have been around for almost three decades, yet fans still have some lingering questions about it that the director recently shed light on.

michael mannMichael Mann

There will always be mysteries behind every film production, and these are only usually known to the creative team and the cast members. Heat, an action crime film that was also penned by Mann, has one scene that kept its viewers speculating for years.

Michael Mann Explained The Most Controversial Scene In Heat

During his interview with Collider, director Michael Mann discussed the controversial coffee shop scene in Heat. Apparently, fans are not convinced that Al Pacino and Robert De Niro are actually in the spot. Mann stated:

“I’ve been asked a whole bunch of questions about Heat and the coffee shop scene, which, by the way, is an event that really occurred in real life. When Al [Pacino] and Bob [De Niro] were facing each other, for some reason there was some rumor that they weren’t actually there at the same time. I don’t know why everybody thought that.”

al pacino heatAl Pacino in Heat

Watching a clip of that iconic scene would make the viewers realize that the tiniest details in the actors’ performance would suggest different interpretations. Many fans felt the isolation between the two men, and so they believed that the scene was filmed separately. However, the director explained:

“What it was, there’s actually three cameras, and what you’re wearing on your chest is what the third camera was shooting, which is the profile two-shot, but I never used it because every time I went to that shot it removed us and made us observers of the two men instead of being empathetically, subjectively inside that dialogue.”

Mann admitted that he hates the point of view of just being an observer, and that influenced his creative decisions pertaining to the camera work.

“So, I always only use the two overs because everything we did was simultaneous. I had two cameras set up just out of reach, just out of sight of each other, shooting that scene.”

The veteran director knows that the most important thing in filmmaking is to make the audience feel that they are actually engaging with the characters and not just standing outside looking in.

Will There Be Heat 2?

robert de niro heatRobert De Niro in Heat

Fans of Michael Mann’s Heat franchise would be thrilled to know that he will finally helm a long-overdue sequel to the epic thriller movie. He was initially hesitant to proceed, as he said in an interview via Variety:

“I took two years to write a novel. Fortunately, it became a New York Times No. 1 bestseller. The things I’m into are things that fascinate me and keep me moving forward. Don’t misunderstand. I want to make it. But if I don’t, I won’t be incomplete.”

Mann wrote the novel version of Heat 2 with author Meg Gardiner, which serves as both a prequel and sequel to the events in the first movie. There is no official release date yet, though Warner Bros has been attached for the film’s distribution.

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