UPDATE, 7:12 AM: HarperCollins has confirmed its big multimillion-dollar, multi-book deal with upstart imprint Michael Mann Books, which Deadline revealed yesterday. The release runs below yesterday’s original break below. In it, Mann explains the imprint and sheds light on the novel about mobsters Tony Accardo and Sam Giancana he will write with The Cartel author Don Winslow, and Mann touches on the Heat prequel novel, which should have fans of that crime classic salivating.

EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, MONDAY AM: In a move that should get the book crowd buzzing at the London Book Fair that is just getting underway, Deadline has learned that HarperCollins won a multi-house auction to be the home of Michael Mann Books, a publishing imprint that will be masterminded by the renowned writer-director. This is a multimillion-dollar deal for worldwide rights to multiple books, and HarperCollins executive editor David Highfill made the deal will edit the books. I’m hearing they have set the first three books to start the deal.

Michael Mann Don WinslowThe first one will be the collaboration between Mann and The Cartel author Don Winslow, to co-create an original novel about the complex relationship between two Organized Crime giants, Tony Accardo and Sam Giancana. That book will be released in 2017.

The second one will be the prequel to Heat, an original screenplay that Mann wrote, directed and turned into the seminal crime classic that starred Robert De Niro and Al Pacino. I don’t know what the third novel is, but have heard it will involve a big bestselling author who’ll work with Mann. This comes after Winslow just won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Novel of the Year for The Cartel, which sold as a movie to Fox and Ridley Scott.

HarperCollins prevailed in an auction that involved multiple publishing houses and went on all last week. Mann was repped by Shane Salerno at The Story Factory and attorney Harold Brown. Mann is also repped by CAA.

Here is the release confirming the deal:

New York, NY (April 12, 2016) – William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, today announced it has acquired World rights to three books by four-time Oscar nominated filmmaker Michael Mann that will serve as the first three titles from Michael Mann Books.

The deal was acquired after a hotly contested auction involving several major publishers by David Highfill, Vice President and Executive Editor at William Morrow. The first of the three novels will be co-written by New York Times bestselling novelist Don Winslow (The Cartel, Savages) and will be an ambitiously scaled novel centering within the tumultuous personal relationship of organized crime masterminds, Tony Accardo and Sam Giancana, and the national events that they originated, drove or controlled across multiple decades. The novel’s anticipated breadth will be on the scale of Winslow’s #1 international bestseller The Cartel which was voted “best book of the year” by more than sixty publications including The New York Times.

Mann, an Emmy winning and Oscar nominated writer, has written or co-written, landmark films and television series that he’s also directed and/or produced including Heat, Thief, The Last of The Mohicans, The Insider, Collateral, Crime Story, Ali, Miami Vice, Manhunter, Public Enemies and many others. His films and television series have been nominated for 23 Academy Awards, 55 Emmys and 33 Golden Globes.

The Untitled Mann-Winslow collaboration will be published simultaneously in 2017 by HarperCollins UK and other HarperCollins global publishers. The second book in the deal will be a prequel novel to Mann’s original screenplay for Heat. The landmark crime film starred Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro and was produced by Mann and Art Linson and directed by Mann. The third book is being kept under wraps. All three books will receive major global launches.

Highfill says, “Michael Mann’s films are masterpieces of mood, filled with lush visuals and very real and human characters, but above all, meticulously, beautifully written with multiple layers, which is why they remain so powerful today. The chance to work with such a gifted storyteller is a dream assignment for any editor. I’m thrilled that we’ve closed on a deal for three books, including the first with the hottest thriller writer of the moment, Don Winslow, and I’m very eager to get started.”

Julia Wisdom, Publisher, Crime & Thrillers at HarperCollins UK says, “Ever since I saw Manhunter I’ve been a huge Michael Mann fan. The detail, complexity, intensity of mood, true-to-life characters and sheer emotional impact he brings to each of his films is without equal. Everyone involved in publishing these three books is really excited to be working with such a unique creative talent. And that the first author in the project should be Don Winslow is thrilling – a tremendous writer with a huge number of in-house fans.”

“In my work,” Mann says, “what always fuels my imagination is moving among the people and within the sub-cultures in which the story I’m telling actually takes place. There have been characters, events, stories, which I thought were very rich, but which had to go untold – whether it’s Hanna working the Frankie Yonder crew in Chicago during his first marriage that is referenced in Heat or stories out of the Strait of Malacca. So, for me this is a great opportunity to bring this material forward in a novel. I couldn’t be more thrilled than to be working with David Highfill and William Morrow/HarperCollins.”

Tony Accardo ran the Chicago Outfit – an efficient, unified and massive organization that was the single most powerful criminal enterprise in America. In 1959, LIFE magazine estimated that the Chicago Outfit’s revenue constituted 6% of the U.S. national revenue. From Frank Nitti’s suicide in 1943, Accardo ran the Outfit. His extraordinary career extended through the Reagan era.

Giancana – mentored and installed by Accardo to front the Chicago Outfit from 1957 to 1966 – elevated the Outfit onto the New Frontier with outrageously bold moves that converged conventional criminal enterprises, national politics, Hollywood, the music industry and co-ventures with the CIA.

His megalomania elevated him to heights never dreamed possible and to exposure that became radioactive. Giancana was murdered in 1975.
Mann has acquired rights and previously unrevealed material from the Accardo family.

“This project is the fulfillment of a lifelong ambition,” Don Winslow said. “The Accardo – Giancana story with its dual protagonists is the intense, organized crime epic that I’ve been waiting to write my whole career. The range of people is immense, the locations vast, the real-life events the stuff of a fiction writer’s dreams. Add to that the chance to do it with Michael Mann, whose films have been an inspiration and an education – I could not be more excited.”

Mann wrote Heat as an original screenplay and, when released in 1995, was a critical smash and a global box office hit. Representative of similar reviews, Time magazine’s Richard Schickel called the film “awesome. Truly epic. A masterpiece. Wholly original.”

Heat recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary and was the subject of a number of laudatory tributes, retrospectives including BAM and an upcoming Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

“The novel will expand the characters, their scores and the crises that are brought into their final confrontations in Heat,” Mann said. Mann’s methodically crafted original screenplay was the product of extensive first-person research among high-line crews of professional thieves in Chicago.

Michael Mann Books is represented by Shane Salerno at The Story Factory. Michael Mann is represented by CAA, LBI and Attorney Harold Brown.