Michael Mann's New Film to Feature Sino-U.S. Anti-Hacking Task Force (Exclusive)

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Michael Mann, left, and Chris Hemsworth

The as-yet-untitled, partly Hong Kong-set cyber-thriller will see American and Chinese agents teaming up to pursue a common adversary hailing from the Balkans.

HONG KONG – Washington and Beijing soon will be joining forces to tackle hackers – in a movie, that is.

Michael Mann’s new thriller will feature American and Chinese agents working together to combat cybertheft.

The Legendary Pictures-backed project, which is to boast of Chris Hemsworth in a lead role, will revolve around a U.S.-China task force pursuing a hacker hailing from the Balkans and based in a Southeast Asian country, according to a rep for Mann.

The rep is responding to a report published in a Hong Kong newspaper Tuesday about Mann’s location-scouting and casting trip to the city during the weekend. In the Apple Daily article, the film was said to center on a pair of Chinese hacker siblings, and Mann had met with local A-listers Tang Wei, Nick Cheung Ka-fai and Shawn Yue Man-lok for the roles.

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This depiction of a productive collaboration between the U.S. and China would be the latest in a string of onscreen working relationships between the two countries.

Roland Emmerich’s 2012, for example, saw the Chinese building arks to save the world – or to be specific, the international political and social elite – from Armageddon; Iron Man 3, meanwhile, features Dr. Wu (played by veteran Chinese thespian Wang Xueqi), a scientist-doctor who will save Tony Stark’s life.

The presence of Chinese protagonists also sill be a first in Mann’s career. He previously featured a Chinese character in Miami Vice, but one who was morally ambiguous: Gong Li plays a Cuban-Chinese gangster’s mole involved in a tryst with Colin Farrell’s Detective Tubbs.