Roger Van Zant is a central character and the secondary antagonist in the famous 1995 crime movie Heat. He was Neil McCauley's money launderer until he betrayed him and his crew.
He is first known to have ordered career criminal Neil McCauley and his crew to perform a bank robbery worth $1.6 million. Though successful, Van Zant later arranges for McCauley to be killed in their supposed meeting. This fails, however, and McCauley later warns Van Zant that he'll soon kill him one day.
Whilst attempting to prevent Vincent Hanna and his police unit from infiltrating his criminal operations, Van Zant is approached by McCauley's rogue crew member Waingro and the two form an alliance for revenge against McCauley by killing him. After tracking down Trejo, one of McCauley's accompanies, Van Zant sends Waingro and his henchmen to coerce Trejo into uncovering McCauley's next heist that would prove a disaster following the deaths of two out of three accomplices assisting McCauley against Hanna and his unit.
Later on, McCauley learns what Waingro had done to Trejo and ends up executing him at his request to end his suffering. Before killing Trejo, however, McCauley learns that Van Zant had driven the plot upon finding out his partnership with Waingro, and ends up confronting him at his home with the intention of killing him and coercing him into exposing Waingro's whereabouts. A shocked Van Zant claims he doesn't know where Waingro is, and McCauley responds by killing Van Zant after shooting him multiple times without hesitation.
Van Zant's death is later notified by Hanna, who uses this opportunity to eventually kill McCauley just moments after the latter had killed Waingro upon locating him.
Roger Van Zant is a legitimate businessman and money launderer who is quite arrogant and greedy, as proven when he betrayed Neil McCauley and his crew for an unknown reason (presuming because he felt that McCauley and his crew had out lived their usefulness). He is also majorly responsible for the ongoing events of the film when he partners with Waingro to eliminate McCauley, resulting in both of their deaths later on.
- He was portrayed by William Fichtner.
- Despite appearing as the secondary antagonist, Van Zant is the Bigger Bad of the film since he ordered McCauley and his crew to steal the money for him prior to betraying him. If he had never betrayed McCauley, he wouldn't have ended up affiliating with Waingro and thus the story would not have happened.