Michael Mann Says ‘Blackhat’ Is ‘The Real Thing’ Because He Spent Time With The House Intelligence Committee

In Michael Mann’s Blackhat, which hits theaters this Friday (Mike Ryan’s essential rundown here), Chris Hemsworth plays Nicholas Hathaway, an imprisoned blackhat hacker who is eventually released so that he can help multiple governments stop another hacker from doing evil and mean things with computers. Hemsworth is, of course, People’s reigning Sexiest Man Alive, which doesn’t do much to dispel that classic Hollywood insistence that the most diabolical computer geniuses on the planet are also out there getting laid at the drop of a hat. Or, in this case, a Blackhat. But director Michael Mann takes his work very seriously, so he wants us all to know that when it came to the actual hacking lingo, everything that we’re going to see on the screen during this January film will be completely authentic.

In a new interview with Wired, Mann revealed that he sat down with real-life hacking experts in order to make sure this thing is legit.

Your movies typically spend a lot of time with bad guys. Are hackers your new gangsters?

I don’t know what gangsters are, but I do know what cybercrime is. Whether it’s coming from Estonia or Russia or the Ukraine or China or Taiwan or Mumbai, it’s about making a lot of money. It’s very, very sophisticated.

Yet, hacker culture hasn’t gotten the most accurate treatment in Hollywood.

I was a pupil in this stuff. We spent time with Mike Rogers, who was head of the House Intelligence Committee. In the movie, the things people are typing and the text you see are all the real thing. (Via Wired)

Last March, Rogers announced that he wouldn’t be seeking reelection to Congress, as he was instead turning to a career in radio. Prior to that, though, Rogers was very vocal about his feelings toward Edward Snowden, whose return ticket to the U.S. Rogers offered to pay for himself. So there’s a good chance that Blackhat could just be two hours of a middle-aged man staring at a monitor and shouting, “Ohhhh I’ll get you, traitor!”