In a 12.22 N.Y.Times piece about a startling echo effect between the Sony hack and Michael Mann‘s Blackhat (Universal. 1.16.15), Brooks Barnes and Michael Cieply report that “no effort” is reportedly “being made to tie Blackhat to the Sony hacking in trailers, TV ads or other promotional materials.” This is because Universal “is slightly concerned that the Sony attack might actually hurt Blackhat — ticket buyers could be tired of hacking stories after weeks of media attention on Sony, and a film that is too topical might strike potential viewers as less entertaining.”
Beefalo to girlfriend: “Hey, you wanna see Blackhat? Hotshot computer hackers, gunfights and shit…you know Michael Mann, right? The guy who made Heat?” Girlfriend to beefalo: “Naaah, sounds too topical.”
The bottom line is that Blackhat, which was still being finessed last week despite having finished principal photography in mid-2013, won’t be screened for people like me until roughly Tuesday, 1.6, or ten days before it opens. (At least as far as New York journos are concerned.) It was obviously shown to Barnes or Cieply a while ago along with a few Mann loyalists, and I know it was also screened for at least one Variety guy.
I spoke today to a smart, fair-minded professional guy who caught a rough cut last summer. It’s not fair to repeat his remarks, but the film, he said, (a) has its moments but (b) also has issues.