“Blackhat is a term for hackers who write malicious code, designed to do thing that other people tell them they’re not supposed to do. So they do, they find vulnerabilities, they do invasions,” the always methodical Michael Mann recently said. The director doesn’t fuck around when it comes to researching his subjects. He’s spent the last two and half years making the cyber thriller “Blackhat,” and who knows how long his research took (his last feature was 2009’s “Public Enemies” if that’s any indication). According to a recent THR piece, Mann met with several real-life hackers, including a currently incarcerated one.
“The U.S. is involved in foreign espionage as aggressively and avidly as they can,” he said in a seminar moderated by THR. “All of our trade secrets, our commerce, our defensive contractors, our businesses, our accounts, our banks… are vulnerable to invasion. I really believe I was doing the kind of research that maybe anthropologists do, where if they’re going to write about a tribe in the Nilotic Sudan, they go live with a tribe in the Nilotic Sudan for a year.”
OK, let’s just assume he spends more time on projects than you do. The movie stars Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Tang Wei and Wang Leehom, and is about a convicted hacker (Hemsworth) forced to work with American and Chinese agents in what has been described as a “cat-and-mouse international heist-thriller.” Here’s the official synopsis:
Directed and produced by Michael Mann, BLACKHAT 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 Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Tang Wei and Wang Leehom, and it is written by Morgan Davis Foehl and Mann.
Due in theaters January 16, 2015, the film may have a Oscar-qualifying run happening sometime in the fall. Meanwhile, the first trailer has finally arrived. Feast your eyes on it below.