LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - An early screenplay for the upcoming James Bond film "Spectre" is the latest high-profile material to be stolen in the massive hack attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, according to Bond producers EON Productions.
The production company issued a statement on Saturday acknowledging that the screenplay had been obtained by hackers, that the company is "concerned that third parties who have received the stolen screenplay may seek to publish it or its contents" and warning that the screenplay is protected by copyright laws.
"EON PRODUCTIONS, the producers of the James Bond films, learned this morning that an early version of the screenplay for the new Bond film SPECTRE is amongst the material stolen and illegally made public by hackers who infiltrated the Sony Pictures Entertainment computer system," reads the statement. "Eon Productions is concerned that third parties who have received the stolen screenplay may seek to publish it or its contents. The screenplay for SPECTRE is the confidential information of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Danjaq, LLC, and is protected by the laws of copyright in the United Kingdom and around the world. It may not (in whole or in part) be published, reproduced, disseminated or otherwise utilized by anyone who obtains a copy of it. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Danjaq LLC will take all necessary steps to protect their rights against the persons who stole the screenplay, and against anyone who makes infringing uses of it or attempts to take commercial advantage of confidential property it knows to be stolen."
A Sony rep declined request for comment.
EON Productions is the U.K. affiliate of U.S.-based Danjaq, which co-owns copyright to Bond films with MGM.
The "Spectre" screenplay theft is only the latest in the huge cyberattack against Sony that began Nov. 24. A group of hackers called Guardians of Peace is targeting the studio and has released such confidential information as company salaries and employees' social security numbers. The hackers have also released new Sony films "Fury," "Annie," "Still Alice" to torrent sites.
Since the attack started, new information has dropped almost daily. On Saturday, leaked emails from the company showed Sony co-chair Amy Pascal calling Leonardo DiCaprio "despicable" for his behavior in passing on the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic. Past leaks have showed producer Scott Rudin calling Angelina Jolie a "spoiled brat," and Pascal and Rudin have made apologies for emails that surfaced in which they cracked racially tinged jokes about President Obama.
Also on Saturday, the hackers targeting the studio promised a large "Christmas gift" -- a seventh dump of files online, causing speculation that the "Spectre" screenplay will be among the materials dropped online.
Many have wondered if the hack is coming from North Korea due to Sony's "The Interview," which stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as a duo with a mission to assassinate that country's leader, Kim Jong-un. North Korea denied involvement but called the hack "a righteous deed."
"Spectre" is set for a global release on Nov. 6, 2015.