Michael Mann Admits ‘Blackhat’ Script Was Unfinished: It Was ‘Not Ready to Shoot’

Michael Mann is revisiting the disaster that was “Blackhat.”

Mann, whose upcoming “Ferrari” is his first film in eight years since 2015’s “Blackhat,” admitted to Variety that the feature was not ready to go into production.

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“It’s my responsibility,” Mann said. The script was not ready to shoot.”

“Blackhat” starred Chris Hemsworth as a hacker, with Viola Davis and Tang Wei co-starring. The film made only $19.7 million at the global box office against a budget of $70 million, and became a critical flop.

However, Mann stands by the themes of the film, saying, “The subject may have been ahead of the curve, because there were a number of people who thought this was all fantasy. Wrong. Everything is stone-cold accurate.”

The writer-director spent three years in research for the “Blackhat” script, telling IndieWire that the film was a hard sell to executives.

“When we came back to L.A. to pitch it, people didn’t quite buy it or didn’t know what you were talking about,” Mann said in 2015. “And the interesting thing for the film was to make it a credible story basically, using not just cyber threat and a hacker as an adversary.”

Mann said he “pulled from the cutting edge reality” of software hackers at the time. The director later unveiled a director’s cut in 2016 at BAM Cinemas for a special screening event. The cut will now be available for viewers with the upcoming 4K release of the film via Arrow Video.

And Mann isn’t stopping at just revisiting “Blackhat”; the director penned a novel for the film “Heat 2,” which will star “Ferrari” lead Adam Driver, and Mann also has recut “The Last of the Mohicans.”

Mann told Variety, “I’ve revised ‘Last of the Mohicans’ three times, and now it’s shorter than the original.”

“The Last of the Mohicans” starred Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeline Stowe, and Russell Means. The cross-cultural love story hinged on Day-Lewis’ character falling for Stowe’s as they trek to safety during the 1757 battles between the French, British, and Native Americans for North America.

As of 2019, a TV adaptation of “Mohicans” was in the works with writer Cary Fukunaga and director Nicole Kassell attached.

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