One of the reasons film fans love Guillermo del Toro – aside from being a brilliant filmmaker, obviously – is that he’s a film fan himself. If you’ve seen the excellent Netflix documentary adaptation of Mark Harris’s Five Came Back, you’ve seen him talk insightfully about the life and work of Frank Capra (his beautiful analysis of It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the doc’s highlights), and his Twitter feed is a stream of recommendations, ephemera, and general cinematic enthusiasm. And now, he’s turning his fan attention to Michael Mann.
If you were trying to pinpoint del Toro’s influences and obsessions, Mann wouldn’t be an obvious pick; he tends to make gritty movies about mean streets and cool criminals, while del Toro typically dwells in the realm of the fantastical. But hey, you wouldn’t have guessed Noah Baumbach was a Brian De Palma fan from his movies, but he made a great documentary about the elder filmmaker. And now, del Toro may be doing the same.
The Playlist reports that, at a Lumière Film Festival screening of Mann’s recent (barely) recut version of his 1995 masterpiece Heat – a film del Toro has praised previously on Twitter – Cannes honcho Thierry Fremaux revealed Mr. del Toro is making a documentary about Mr. Mann.
What, exactly, will it be? Well, there the plot thickens, because THR has a report from that Lumière screening of Heat, and the three-way conversation between Mann, del Toro, and Fremaux that preceded it – but according to that publication, GDT is “currently planning a series of interview books about the craft of the film director, with Mann and George Miller already on board,” with no mention of the previously-reported documentary. And Variety reports, from another event at the festival, that del Toro discussed the book but not the film: “What I offered to Michael yesterday is something I offered to George Miller a few months ago. I offered to go interview him for two weeks to make a book in which we discuss cinema as a craft.”