When it comes to the crime / heist genre, 'Heat' is up there as the finest example.

It's not just Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino at the height of their powers, or even Val Kilmer for that matter. It's Michael Mann directing a sprawling yet tightly-made saga about being the bank robber there is, and being the best cop there is, and how that ultimately damages people's lives. For our money, it's his best movie - and one that's had a sequel in the works for quite some time.

As reported a few years ago, Mann is set to write a prequel / sequel novel to 'Heat' and in a recent interview with AFP, the director shared some more of what's in store. "The novel is about two-thirds written, and it's the prequel to 'Heat' and it's the sequel to 'Heat' rolled together. So it's everything before the movie and everything after the movie," Mann explained.

The novel, which doesn't yet have a confirmed title, follows Robert DeNiro's character during his term in prison during his early twenties, while also following Al Pacino's character as a police detective in Chicago before transferring to Los Angeles. While both of these were referenced in the movie, it's clearly going to need two younger actors to take on the roles.

As Mann tells it, the idea began initially as a movie, but could potentially see it as a TV series. "The landscape is changing so radically and so quickly, who knows," Mann told AFP. It wouldn't be Mann's first attempt in television either.

The director was involved with 'Miami Vice' during the '80s as an executive producer, as well as the groundbreaking but short-lived series 'Crime Story'. His most recent effort in television, 'Luck', starred Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Farina and was set in the world of thoroughbred racing. While there's no word yet on whether or not the 'Heat' prequel / sequel series will end up on TV or not, the movie itself carries enough name recognition that merely teasing the idea of it is enough to spark interest.

Just for a reminder of how good 'Heat' is, here's the famous robbery shootout towards the end of the movie.