Director Michael Mann talks ‘Public Enemies’

Johnny Depp and director Michael Mann circled around John Dillinger for decades. Independently, each imagined the infamous Depression-era bank robber filling the big screen. Good-looking, sexy and charismatic, Dillinger is a role Depp was destined to play. Meanwhile, the rat-a-tat style Mann displayed in Miami Vice and Heat seems well suited to a 1930s gangster movie.

The gestation of what became Public Enemies - a promising summer movie pitting Dillinger against federal agent Melvin Purvis (played by Christian Bale) - began in earnest three years ago. Mann is known for working slowly, accounting for an output of just 10 movies in 30 years, and he took his time even after Depp and Bale were cast.

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Directors, Filmmaking, Summer 2009


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