Michael Mann and Robert De Niro are to team up for the first time since their classic crime caper Heat in a new Paramount Pictures movie, it has emerged.

Variety reports the Ali director has signed a deal with Paramount to develop Frankie Machine, a project De Niro has been attached to since 2005.

The movie - an adaptation of Don Winslow's novel The Winter of Frankie Machine - tells the story of former mob hitman Frank Machianno living out his retirement in blissful contentment while running a bait shop.

But like all good movie retirees, there's a catch and when Frank is forced to re-enter the criminal Underworld to help a mobster's son resolve a mafia dispute, he learns he's been set up to be killed.

The movie had originally been attached to Martin Scorsese, who was thought to be developing a draft written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, but according to Variety, De Niro and Jane Rosenthal will now produce a script overhauled by Watchmen screenwriter Alex Tse through their Tribeca Films studio.

Mann's direction has been consistently successful since he, De Niro, and Al Pacino joined forces to create the greatest crime movie ever made with 1995's Heat, with The Insider, Ali, Collateral and Miami Vice all enthralling cinema audiences.

Currently starring as sky pirate Captain Shakespeare in Stardust, De Niro is reuniting with his Heat adversary Pacino in New York crime drama Righteous Kill.

25/10/2007 11:23:26