UPDATE: Sony has officially cancelled the December 25 release of The Interview. The decision comes after multiple major theater chains were reported to have cancelled plans to screen the film amidst threats from the same hacker group that stole enormous amounts of sensitive, private data from the company’s servers.
Here’s the official statement from Sony:
“In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.
Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business. Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale – all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”
Read the original post below for additional details on the threats that led to this cancellation.
ORIGINAL POST: The notorious Sony hackers took things to an entirely new level this week with a threat against all theaters showing Seth Rogen and James Franco’s new film The Interview.
There’s still no official connection between the hackers and the North Korean government, whose outrage regarding the movie about a pair of bumbling television producers recruited by the C.I.A. to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un has been well-documented. However, the new threat seems to make it clear the upcoming film’s release is what sparked the cyber attack on Sony and the latest threat.
The threat from the group, which calls itself “Guardians of Peace,” reads as follows:
We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.
Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.
The world will be full of fear.
Remember the 11th of September 2001.
We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.
(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)
Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
All the world will denounce the SONY.
In the wake of the threat, Sony has told theaters that it won’t be a problem if The Interview is dropped from their screening schedules (per The Hollywood Reporter), and Variety reports that both Rogen and Franco have canceled promotional appearances for the film. The Department of Homeland Security has indicated that there’s no “credible information” that would indicate a real threat to theater audiences, though.
“Somebody is playing mind games with [Sony],” said cyber-security expert and former White House counter-terrorism advisor Richard Clarke in an interview with ABC. “I think North Korea has little or no capability to do any physical attacks, commando activity, or terrorism in the U.S. By saying it’s coming, however, they hope to keep people from the theaters and, thereby, hurt Sony’s revenue.”
The Interview is currently scheduled for a wide release December 25.
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