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Michael Mann takes responsibility for Blackhat flop: 'The script wasn't ready to shoot'

Michael Mann takes responsibility for Blackhat flop: 'The script wasn't ready to shoot'

When Michael Mann's Ferrari finally hits theaters later this year, it will mark the auteur's first film in eight years. And considering how badly 2015's Blackhat flopped, Mann is admitting that his latest needs to succeed in order for him to secure funding for future projects, including the much-anticipated Heat 2, which he released as a novel with author Meg Gardiner last year.

Starring Chris Hemsworth as a skilled hacker, Blackhat made only $19.7 million at the global box office against a $70 million budget. It didn't fare much better among critics, either. "Even the best filmmakers can cough up a dud now and then," reads EW's review.

"It's my responsibility," Mann told Variety about Blackhat's failure. "The script was not ready to shoot."

Chris Hemsworth and director Michael Mann on set of 'Blackhat'
Chris Hemsworth and director Michael Mann on set of 'Blackhat'

Everett Collection Chris Hemsworth and director Michael Mann on set of 'Blackhat'

Much of the criticism of Blackhat centered on the casting of the muscular Hemsworth as a brainy computer whiz, but viewers also seemed to struggle with the complex plot, which involved villainous hackers using their skills to manipulate stock options around soy and tin. Recent events, however, including the 2021 GameStop stock manipulation and the growing paranoia around the influence of hackers on American elections, have given greater resonance to Blackhat.

"The subject may have been ahead of the curve, because there were a number of people who thought this was all fantasy," Mann said. "Wrong. Everything is stone-cold accurate."

Since Blackhat's release, Mann has tinkered with the movie's structure, premiering a director's cut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 2016 that reordered some of the plot points. That director's cut will supposedly be available on home video this fall with the film's upcoming 4K release from Arrow Video.

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