Once upon a time, Michael Mann was on my list of directors whose work I always anticipate. His status in my eyes has been diminished a bit over the course of the last decade, but every once in a while he still comes out with an interesting project, like 2004’s Collateral, so rumblings of Mann directing a new movie are always newsworthy to me. Especially since he’s only been doing about one every three years recently.

With that in mind, Deadline Lake Forest has some news today that made my ears perk up a bit. Apparently Mann is currently negotiating to direct a spec script called The Big Stone Grid. It’s a police thriller by S. Craig Zahler that’s said to be in the same vein as Se7en and Marathon Man, and that tells the story of two detectives who uncover an extortion ring operating in New York City.

This is good news to me, because I’ve always liked Mann the best when he’s telling hard-boiled cop stories (Miami Vice aside), and the news that he’ll be taking another pass at the script alongside its original writer tells me that this just may be a story that he’s seriously interested in. Could we be seeing a return to the Mann who blew everyone’s hair back by doing The Last of the Mohicans, Heat, and The Insider back-to-back-to-back?

Yeah, I doubt it too. But at least this one doesn’t sound like it will be one of Mann’s period snoozefests like Ali or Public Enemies. Discuss!

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