Following the massive cyber attack on Sony's private database last month, hackers are now threatening Sony and movie theatres not to screen the upcoming film, "The Interview", starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. Guardians of Peace, the group responsible for the Sony hacking, also warned moviegoers to stay away from the event . Sony has taken note and canceled the premiere.
According to Variety, which obtained a copy of the warning message, it said, "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."
"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.)"
The message clearly warns moviegoers with dire consequences. Sony has already canceled the premier of "The Interview" scheduled to take place on Thursday at Sunshine Cinema, a spokesperson for Landmark Theatres, which owns the venue, told The L.A. Times.
Sony also met with the National Association of Theatre Owners giving them the choice to screen the movie at their own discretion. Actors of the movie, Franco and Rogen, apparently canceled all press appearances, including late night shows with Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers following the threats, Rogen's rep told ABC News.
The massive cyber attack by the Guardians of Peace is linked to North Korea. The upcoming movie, which is set to release in theaters on the eve of Christmas, is a fictional comedy with two Americans who are hired to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. With all these threats lined up, a top level government official said they seemed more like a hoax.
"Somebody is playing mind games with [SONY]," Richard Clarke, cyber security expert and former White House counter-terrorism advisor, said. "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."
It remains to be seen how many theaters actually screen the movie on December 25.