Michael Mann has been linked with about a dozen film projects since he released his gangster period piece Public Enemies in 2009, and now we can add two more to the pile.
The first was announced yesterday by Deadline, who said Mann had entered talks to potentially direct the cop thriller “The Big Stone Grid” at Sony Pictures.
Based on a spec script by S. Craig Zahler, the movie has been described as a cross between Se7en and Marathon Man, and it is the tale of two New York City cops who uncover an extortion ring. It is certainly a film in Mann’s usual crime thriller wheelhouse and it was reported that Mann wanted some time with the screenplay to re-write it himself to mould his vision before he decides whether he wants to direct it or not.
The news of a second potential project comes from the mouth of the veteran helmer himself. Whilst speaking on the Tavis Smiley show on PBS, Mann said that he is interested in the South China sea picture “The Tam”.
“I just got back from doing research on [a film] that a man named Alex Sage is writing in Indonesia. It’s all going to take place on the South China Sea, called ‘The Tam,’ “.
No other details were released and it all sounds like early days, though The Playlist have made a guess, perhaps an educated one, that Mann’s movie title could refer to Tam Kung, a sea God worshipped in Hong Kong and Macau but it could just as easy be something else.
Both “The Tam” and “The Big Stone Grid” join a huge number of projects Mann has been percolating over the past few years but it seems Mann has picked a favourite he wishes to direct (incidentally it was the project we also wanted him to make) and that is the adaptation of Bernard Cornwell’s novel Agincourt.
From the author of the Sharpe novels, Agincourt is centered on a skilled archer whose impending execution is cancelled when King Henry V is impressed by his marksmanship. It’s a good old fashioned epic swords-and-shields flick with a love story at it’s core and which builds up to the 1415 bloody battle of Agincourt as it’s finale.
He said in the interview;
“[I'm] developing something that takes place in 1415, culminates in the Battle of Agincourt. I love medieval subject matter. I’ve been dying to do something of the period,”.
We were last updated on the film back in May when RKO 281 helmer Benjamin Ross was said to be re-writing Elizabeth & The Tudors scribe Michael Hirst’s screenplay which once complete would be formed into a package and sold to studios for full financing.
Mann would likely film that movie tomorrow if the project was in shape to go and he has kind of being floating aimlessly through different genres and flirting himself with other films. Other projects he has circled include “Go Like Hell” (a racing epic in the Steve McQueen mould) for 20th Century Fox, a prospecting movie based on a Paul Haggis script titled “Gold“, a biopic “Capa” and also “Big Tuna“, a gangster piece very much in the vein of Public Enemies.
Plus he has the second season of HBO’s horse racing drama “Luck” that he is developing.