Hacking and Hollywood seem to go together a lot in news headlines these days. However, not every story containing the two keywords is about the massive Sony Pictures cyberattack.

Universal Pictures has released the second trailer for "Blackhat," an action thriller mystery film that portrays the story of Nicholas Hathaway, a hacker recruited by authorities to go after a mysterious cybercriminal suspect that has baffled American and Chinese agencies.

"The next Pearl Harbor that we confront could very well be a cyber-attack," says former Central Intelligence Agency director Leon Panetta, who is quoted in the trailer's first few seconds.

Director Michael Mann, who is known for his works such as Tom Cruise's crime thriller "Collateral" and the 1994 Al Pacino starrer "Heat," returns to the silver screen with "Blackhat." Actor Chris Hemsworth relinquishes his cape and Thor's hammer for nothing but a computer as he plays the role of Hathaway, a convict plucked straight out of prison to stop a cybercriminal masterminding numerous acts of terror around the globe.

"To you, this is all just a game, a virtual world," Hathaway tells the elusive suspect.

"Blackhat" features an international cast, including Tony Award-winning actress Viola Davis, Chinese actress Tang Wei, whose star rose to prominence with the 2007 Ang Lee film "Lust, Caution," and "Lost" actor William Mapother.

British director of photography Stuart Dryburgh, the same one who lensed Mann's "Luck" HBO series, also lends his artistic hand to "Blackhat," which features the same steel-blue tones seen in Mann's earlier works.

"Blackhat" is set to be released to theaters nationwide on Jan. 16, 2015, which is timely because Mann has yet to reproduce the successes of his earlier works, and because cybercrime has largely made it as a key topic in national discourse with numerous incidents of cyberattacks on major corporations and government organizations hitting the headlines.

This, however, is not the first film that involves a hacker caught up in a conspiracy by the government or a corporation. In the 1995 cult classic film, a young Angelina Jolie stars as Kate Libby, a gifted high school senior entangled in a corporate extortion conspiracy. This was followed by the 2001 crime thriller "Swordfish," starring Hugh Jackman as an ex-convict hacker recruited by a group of bank robbers for his superb hacking skills. In 2014, Johnny Depp starred in the science fiction film "Transcendence" as an artificially intelligent entity.

As technology takes on greater roles in human lives and the incidents of cyberattacks become as common as smartphones, we can expect Hollywood to come up with more films with similar themes.

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