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Michael Mann’s New Cyber Thriller Title Confirmed As ‘Black Hat’; May Go After Oscar Qualifying Run

Michael Mann’s New Cyber Thriller Title Confirmed As 'Black Hat'; May Go After Oscar Qualifying Run

Just a few moments ago at its Comic-Con panel, Legendary Pictures provided a first look at “Black Hat,” formerly known as “Cyber.” A footage report will be coming later this weekend, but we can tell you now that the screening was well received. A new logo and photo, a behind-the-scenes still of director/producer Michael Man and star Chris Hemsworth, has also been released.

”Black Hat” follows a furloughed convict and his American and Chinese partners as they hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta. The film stars Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Tang Wei and Wang Leehom, and is written by Morgan Davis Foehl and Mann.

There’s good news and bad news on the release date. The bad news is opening the film in January, traditionally an inopportune month to do so, has not changed: one would think a Michael Mann movie would be released during the fall. The good news is Deadline reports that an Oscar qualifying run may be in the works, which means the film would screen sometime in November or December for one week to be eligible for the Academy Awards. 

Movies scoring one-week qualifying runs are rarely serious Oscar contenders, but at the very least, this turn of events suggests that film may be impressive. An apt comparison might be to Terrence Malick‘s “The New World,” an artier film lacking either awards or mainstream appeal, which similarly opened in January 2005.

Legendary also released its logo (and a motion version) for Duncan Jones‘ “Warcraft,” which you can see below. The movie stars Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Travis Fimmel and Paula Patton, and hits theaters March 11, 2016.

“Black Hat” will be released by Universal Pictures on January 16, 2015.

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