LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - The Sony hackers have threatened a 9/11-like attack on movie theaters that screen Seth Rogen and James Franco's North Korean comedy "The Interview," substantially escalating the stakes surrounding the release of the movie.
The attackers also released the promised "Christmas gift" of files. The contents of the files are unknown but it's called "Michael Lynton," who is the CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
"The world will be full of fear," the message reads. "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."
Past messages have included budgets to Sony films, salary information of top executives, and employee medical records and social security numbers.
There have been suspicions that the attack may have been launched by North Korea in retaliation for "The Interview's" depiction of an assassination attempt on Kim Jong-un. The country has denied involvement but praised the attacks.
The note also threatens people who attend the premiere of "The Interview." A New York premiere of the film is scheduled to take place Thursday at Sunshine Cinema and has already been scaled down, according to a report in the New York Post. A special screening of the film took place in Los Angeles last week without incident.
A spokesman for the studio, an FBI spokesman and a spokesman for the National Association of Theatre Owners were not immediately available for comment.
Read the full message:
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.