Heat' is on for vid game
Mann in talks to oversee sequel

By John Gaudiosi

Regency Entertainment, Titan Prods. and video game developer Gearbox Software will bring a video game sequel to "Heat," the heist film directed by Michael Mann, to next-generation consoles by late 2007.

Titan Prods. co-founder and president Brad Foxhoven is expected to confirm the project today to coincide with the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Mann is in talks to oversee development of the project, which will offer single-player and multiplayer first-person shooter action set in the film's world. Foxhoven said talks are in advanced stages with representatives for Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Val Kilmer to be part of the video game sequel.

"The video game industry continues to push the envelope, bridging the worlds of games and movies," Regency president of production Sanford Panitch said. "The success of the special edition DVD last year reminded us how Michael Mann' s 'Heat' is truly a modern-day classic, and deserves to be retold using modern technology that will transport a viewer into that world."

"There is something about this concept that I call 'hard core heist' that has never really been done well in a video game, yet everyone on the planet has thought about robbing a bank or something at one time or another," Gearbox Software president Randy Pitchford said. " 'Heat' pretty much defined what hard core heist means and it gives us a narrative mechanism to consider both sides."

Foxhoven said the game will either be a prequel story to the film, or a sequel. If it is a sequel, De Niro will appear in flashback.

Should Pacino come aboard, his character from the film will hunt down the new crew. If he doesn't, a new character will step into the role and track down the new crew.

Foxhoven said De Niro would potentially be used in the game through flashbacks and training levels. Kilmer's character would be able to interact with the crew directly because he survived the shootout at the film's end.

Pitchford said the challenge is to avoid merely retreading the space the film already covered, but to let players choose their own paths and make their own decisions that the characters in the film didn't have to make or perhaps wouldn't have made if they got into the situations the game is going to create.

Titan Prods. also is working on two other Hollywood games, John Carpenter's "Psychopath" and Guillermo del Toro's "Sundown" with developer Terminal Reality.

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