Inexplicably-ripped keyboard-jockey saves the world in new Michael Mann cyber-thriller
Paranoid techno-thrillers depicting the world of online-evildoing as a stylish netherworld populated by super-sexy code-wizards were all the rage in the 90s, but went the way of parachute pants as more people actually got online and realized it was quite the opposite. But if projects like CSI: Cyber and Scorpion are any indication, the genre might be making a comeback on TV - and now Blackhat wants to take it to the movies.
In the film (written and directed by Michael Mann of Heat and Collateral fame), a sinister hacker is using their skills to commit acts of increasingly-dangerous terrorism all over the world. Unable to stop him on their own, the United States and China agree to enlist the aid of another imprisoned master-hacker (Thor's Chris Hemsworth) - described as a "genius coder" from MIT - to take the threat down.
Mann originally produced the film under the title Cyber, but announced the name change during SDCC. The new title refers to online slang for hackers willing/able to use their skills for illegal/unethical means. Despite the heavy focus on the virtual realm, the production shot on-location in Los Angeles, California, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Jakarta, Indonesia.
Blackhat is due for wide-release on January 16th 2015, but may see a limited release earlier than that in order to qualify for the 2014 Academy Awards.