By Daniel Fierman
Michael Mann looks tortured. But looming deadlines and complex marketing strategies aren't what's bothering him. It's Phil Collins. The 63-year-old director — a coiled knot of edgy intelligence, long esteemed for films like Manhunter, Heat, and The Insider — has been going back and forth over where to use a cover of ''In the Air Tonight'' by Nonpoint in his Miami Vice remake. Actually, he’s been trying to decide for weeks. The song goes in. It comes out. In again. Out. And the postproduction staff is starting to go a wee bit insane.
''What do you think?'' the notoriously detail-driven director asks his latest guinea pig, as one of his producers mouths a silent sigh. ''I kind of love it before the last battle, but the crew are all like, 'Don’t do it!' ''
A lot of people said the same thing about making the movie. Including Mann. Despite the fact that he executive-produced the original series — which boasted a splashy and surprisingly persistent cultural influence at the height of the Reagan era — Mann thought he'd left Miami Vice behind back in 1989, when it petered out in a legacy-annihilating haze of silly cameos, aliens, and bad fashion. (''The last years were crap,'' he says now. ''I'm a bad executive producer. My attention span is two years.'') But that was before Jamie Foxx sidled up to him at Muhammad Ali's birthday party in 2001.