Mike Fleming Jr. catches up with director Michael Mann about the re-cut of his Muhammad Ali biopic Ali. Of note:
…because Ali had a one-time approval of the script…and he said the thing that was really important to him was he didn’t want hagiography. He didn’t want idolatry or any kind of sugarcoating. Imagine the amount of flattery that he received through the years. I understood that but I also wanted to know why. He said something really profound: that he was proud of the mistakes he made. He thought he had recognized not all of them but some of them and that he’d fixed some of them and had come to peace with them. And he just walked through life with a sense of, I am who I am and you’re diminishing me if you sugarcoat or fictionalize it.
No punches pulled. I’d expect nothing less. Meanwhile, Mann on our current golden age of television:
Well, the landscape is always changing. I mean take a look at the television that’s getting done. This stuff is spectacular, evolving to where you wonder where movies end and television begins. It is becoming a hybrid. So it’s a luxurious time to be making movies because there’s so many different platforms and modes of presentation so that you can do the strongest possible thing to make something work and let the narrative itself dictate what’s the best way to present this.
Interesting that Mann seemingly would still consider it “making movies” to make some of these long-form television shows. Speaking of…
MANN: There are two things I want to do. I’ve got a Western that Eric Roth wrote called Comanche, and I’ve got a science fiction thing I want to do.
DEADLINE: That’s one you and Roth have talked about for a decade that is as epic in scale as The Revenant. You are finally going to get to make that?
MANN: We’ll see. The sci-fi I can’t talk about. I’m sworn to secrecy. I mean if the right thing presents itself and we’re working on a slate of four different things in television. If the right thing presents itself and the right opportunities. I also like the fact you can do eight hours, 10 hours. It’s completely flexible.
A Michael Mann science fiction film? Done in long-form, for television? Sold.