“Hack the planet!”
Those immortal words launched 1995’s Hackers into cult movie status forever after, but Hollywood portayals of cybercrime and hacking on the silver screen have come a long way since then. The latest entry into the field is Michael Mann’s tense international thriller Blackhat. Starring Chris Hemsworth as Nicholas Hathaway, a convicted hacker furloughed from prison to stop a cyberterrorist in the wake of a nuclear meltdown, Blackhat throws viewers into a high-stakes game of cat and mouse between two expert hackers. And given that it’s a Michael Mann movie, you can expect plenty of gunplay, too.
Recently, I was able to sit down with the cast and crew at a Los Angeles press day where I talked to them about how the film went from concept to completion. In particular, I asked actors Chris Hemsworth and Wang Leehom about the preparation that went into their roles– Michael Mann is a stickler for realism and famously sent James Caan to safecracking school when making his 1981 debut, Thief. Naturally, I was curious as to what sort of challenges he posed to the cast of his sometimes jargon-heavy new film.
Equally fascinating is the history behind Blackhat. As Michael Mann mentions in the video, the whole film was inspired after he learned about the real-life hacking attack known as Stuxnet. After speaking with him at the junket, I decided to do a little digging of my own into the fascinating true story on this week’s The Dan Cave:
(Editor’s note: Nerdist is owned by Legendary Entertainment)