Would Michael Mann shoot a medieval epic with HD camera's? And if he did, what would it look like? Would it work as well as I thought it did for the 30's period gangster flick 'Public Enemies' (though not everyone seems to agree with me that it's a modern day American classic). That's where my mindset is at tonight when I read that Mann is attached to a big screen version of 'Agincourt', the bestselling Bernard Cromwell novel (author of the 'Sharpe' books) that's 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. Basically, it will be the kind of picture Ridley Scott has been making with Russell Crowe this last decade and would mark Mann's largest scale film since 'The Last of the Mohicans'. He has been working on the screenplay with Michael Hirst ('The Tudors', Cate Blanchett's Elizabeth films), an expert of these times by all accounts. Though there is another project in much more familiar ground that is also courting the interest of Mann - another Chicago-based crime thriller. Titled 'Big Tuna' (no, not based on Jim from The Office) it would revolve around aging mobster Tony Accardo and his younger successor Sam Giancana. Accardo is left above, a spitting image of Tony Soprano, no?
Heres an older man who was the undisputed boss at a time when the Chicago outfit was the most powerful crime element in America. It becomes a classic tragedy of megalomania and hubris,
Mann also has interest in a biopic of war photographer Robert Capa which once had Eva Green attached, and an adaptation of the classic Hemingway novel 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' at Warner Bros but it's the two aforementioned projects that has really caught his attention. Whilst Mann deliberates on what his next project will be, he continues work on the David Milch-scripted horse-racing drama series Lucky starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte at HBO, which Mann has said 'is one of the best pieces of writing anyone has ever passed to me'. A medieval classic that culminates with a bloody battle on French territory or another 30's gangster flick? How can we, as Mann fans, lose?