Sony Pictures is continuing to deal with the fall out from last month’s breach of its computer systems, which apparently took place in retaliation for its backing of The Interview, a Seth Rogen movie about a CIA plot to take out North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that’s due to land in theaters on Dec. 25.
A new message posted online (shown in full below) purporting to come from the “Guardians of Peace” hackers demanded Rogen’s action-comedy be shelved, describing it as “the movie of terrorism.”
It warned Sony to cancel the movie’s release “if you want to escape us,” adding somewhat melodramatically that such a movie “can break the regional peace and cause the war.”
It went on: “You, Sony & FBI, cannot find us. … The destiny of Sony is totally up to the wise reaction & measure of Sony.”
While executives at the movie studio will no doubt have taken a close look at the hackers’ message, they are highly unlikely to cancel the The Interview’s release. Indeed, the additional publicity for the movie is probably the only good thing to come out of this affair as far as Sony Pictures is concerned.
Ongoing data dumps by the hackers continue to throw up a vast trove of movie related material, including scripts for dozens of forthcoming movies and TV shows, and the revelation that the revenue forecasts for the Jobs movie it’d been working on fell by 25 percent when Leonardo DiCaprio quit the project. If this is indeed true, it’s certainly easier to understand why Sony Pictures ended up dropping the movie.
The dump also contains thousands of emails to and from top Sony Pictures executives, and even shows how much the studio paid to rent a dog for a day’s photo shoot linked to its Annie remake ($2,100, if you’re interested).
North Korea recently denied having any involvement in the attack, calling it instead a “righteous deed” the work of “supporters and sympathizers.”
Last week the hackers released thousands of Social Security numbers linked to those on Sony Pictures’ payroll, with details belonging to a number of celebrities included. It also posted to file-sharing sites a number of unreleased Sony-produced movies, among them Mr. Turner, Still Alice, and the aforementioned Annie.
With this latest data dump, which also revealed that the hackers contacted the company three days prior to the Nov. 24 attack demanding “monetary compensation,” it’s clear that Sony Pictures’ headache is fast developing into more of a painful migraine. Perhaps when it’s all blown over, this remarkable story will end up on the big screen as a Sony-backed crime thriller, though the question for many following the saga is: What happens in the final act?
Below is the full text of the message purporting to come from the Guardians of Peace:
“We have already given our clear demand to the management team of Sony, however, they have refused to accept. It seems that you think everything will be well, if you find out the attacker, while no reacting to our demand. We are sending you our warning again. Do carry out our demand if you want to escape us. And, Stop immediately showing the movie of terrorism which can break the regional peace and cause the War! You, Sony & FBI, cannot find us. We are perfect as much. The destiny of Sony is totally up to the wise reaction & measure of Sony.”