Filmmaker Michael Mann says he is too busy on his current slate of film projects to think about mortality.
- Michael Mann is the 80-year-old director of films like Heat, The Insider, Miami Vice, Collateral, and The Last of the Mohicans.
- He is currently promoting the upcoming release of his new film Ferrari and discussing the possibility of adapting his 2022 novel Heat 2 into a feature film.
- Speaking with Variety, he says that he is too busy with his projects to think about mortality and that he keeps moving forward thanks to his drive to tell stories and explore subjects that interest him.
- “Don’t misunderstand. I want to make [Heat 2 before I died]. But if I don’t, I won’t be incomplete,” he says.
Why It’s Important
Michael Mann has had one of the best careers in modern filmmaking. Born in Chicago, he moved to London in the 1960s to dodge the Vietnam War draft and become a filmmaking student. He released his first film Thief in 1981, directing a total of 12 films leading up to his 2015 commercial and critical failure Blackhat. His newest film is a life-long passion project exploring the life of Ferrari owner Enzo Ferrari.
As we previously reported, many great artists struggle with approaching retirement and a life after they finish their work. Filmmaker Christopher Nolan has argued that he does not see himself retiring from filmmaking, while singer Dolly Parton recently announced that she intends to die on stage. Many artists do not find the idea of retirement fulfilling and choose to die doing what they love.
Mann has a very similar drive. As he tells Variety, “You asked me about mortality, but I didn’t really answer. The thing is, I don’t think about mortality. I’m busy. What good would it do me? If I absolutely had to make Heat 2, I wouldn’t have got lost in this beautiful story of Ferrari. And I took two years to write a novel. Fortunately, it became a New York Times number one bestseller. The things I’m into are things that fascinate me and keep me moving forward.”
He may or may not finish all of his projects, depending on how well Ferrari performs at the box office this fall, but he speaks like a man who has limited regrets and does not act like his light is fading away.