How Michael Mann’s Heat Inspired Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight

The art of filmmaking is often fraught with danger in relation to being unique. One scene that comes across as visually stunning can be lambasted for stealing from someone else's work. Yet this doesn't stop the best in the business from doing just that.

Sitting down at a Q&A to revisit the 1995 crime drama Heat with director Michael Mann and stars Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, Christopher Nolan indicated that his own masterpiece The Dark Knight was very much inspired by that feature. As well as others of Mann's including Collateral, The Insider and L.A. Takedown. Utilizing his action sequences from the bank robbery to street shootout and the face off between the film's main two protagonists, Glass Distortion outlined that his work owes something of a debt to Mann.

Heat Borrowed From Real Life Events

While Nolan is unashamedly a fan of Mann's work, he quizzed his fellow filmmaker about the underlying narrative of the movie. And how it came about behind the scenes.

"For you in your writing process," asks Nolan, "Is that - the philosophical underpinnings of the film, the things that give us lots to talk about this long after you've seen the film. Are they there when you're first writing? Do they come in more through the production process?"

Taking cues himself from real life events, Mann explained how his late friend would come to be the inspiration behind the Heat screenplay.

"They came in - no they absolutely came in the writing," replied Mann. "It took a while to write it because the original idea was - there was a guy named Charlie Adamson, a friend of mine, who killed Neil McCauley in a shootout in Chicago in 1963, and it was his appreciation, his enthusiasm for Neil McCauley and his admiration for him. Charlie was very much a hunter as a detective and the scene in the coffee shop actually happened. They met each other, they almost got in a shootout in the parking lot and so I said, 'I'll buy you a cup of coffee' and it was in a deli in Chicago. The reason that they came together - those components of their personalities were the same, the other components were very different. (It) made it that it was both true at the same time that they had an intimacy that only strangers could have and at the same time, Charlie wouldn't hesitate to blow Neil out of his socks, which he eventually did.... That fascinated me that both were true, it wasn't a contradiction."


Speculation Over Batman Return Continues

Without any public utterance to the contrary, fans and news outlets continue to speculate over the involvement of Christopher Nolan in the current DCEU. Especially following the departure of Ben Affleck from the director's chair of The Batman. Holding out for a proven filmmaker, Nolan ticks every box possible outside of one important factor. The man himself appears to have no appetite to fill the role again.

Taking charge of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises, the Englishman has often explained that his chapter with the character is closed for good. Yet his involvement as an executive producer for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice does provide a hint that the door could still be left slightly ajar to save the franchise from falling flat on it's face.

Source: THR, Movie News Guide