Hackers that refer to themselves as Guardians of Peace have made ominous threats against movie theaters that show the Sony Pictures movie “The Interview”, which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco.
The group released data files on Tuesday, what they referred to as the beginning of a “Christmas Gift”. They have warned people to stay clear of theaters showing the film.
The threatening message warned people to stay away from movie theaters, where The Interview will be shown and the premiere in New York on Thursday.
The message referenced 9/11, even warning people that live close to theaters showing the movie to leave their homes.
Major theater chains that are publicly traded companies may not be able to even show the movie for fear of serious legal repercussions if the threats are carried out.
Deadline reports, “If something does happen at theaters showing The Interview, today’s hacker threat means that no one can say they didn’t know or at the very least have a reasonable expectation, explains Deadline. And that means that any victims or their families could sue the theater or theater chain, and would likely win”.
Their canceled appearances include The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.
Both actors are reportedly still attending the New York premiere on Thursday.
The NYPD now plans to have police on site, as well as additional forces for rapid response in case of any emergency. It is also coordinating with the FBI.
The FBI has confirmed that it is looking into the credibility of the threat. A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security has said that they don’t believe that the threats are credible.
The Interview is a comedy in which Rogen and Franco star as television journalists involved in a CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Speculation about a North Korean link to the Sony hacking has centered on that country’s angry reaction to the movie. This summer North Korea warned that the film’s release would be an “act of war that we will never tolerate”.
Click thumbnails for larger pictures