Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures has announced it has cancelled the release of 'The Interview' on Christmas Day as US confirmed North Korea was behind the hacking.Reuters

Sony Pictures has announced that it has cancelled the release of "The Interview" on Christmas Day following three weeks of hacking, leaks and threats.

This comes on a day US officials confirmed that the North Korean government was behind the hacking attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.

"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 said in a statement.

"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."

The announcement also came as several cinemas in the US said they would not show the film after hackers threatened of violence if anyone attended the movie.

As Sony announced its decision, US intelligence officials said that North Korea was involved in the attack on Sony Pictures. Officials said that the hacking attack originated outside North Korea, but they believe the individuals behind it were ordered by North Korea to undertake the attack, reports NBC.

"The interview" is a comedy movie  starring Seth Rogen and James Franco depicting a fictional assassination attempt on North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un. As tensions rise amid the Sony hack fallout, a New Regency film which was tentatively titled "Pyongyang" starring Steve Carell "will also not be moving forward, Sony said.

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