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Local writer at center of Sony hacking scandal

Also in Tattle: Fear also halts re-release of "Team America," Craig Ferguson bids farewell, Stevie Wonder says hello and Broadway gets a "School" trip.

DAN STERLING, "the guy that brought down Sony," is from West Philadelphia.

So wrote 24/7 Molly Eichel on yesterday.

Sterling, you see, is the fella who wrote "The Interview," the film at the center of the Sony hacking scandal. The movie, which now may never be seen, stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as TV journalists tasked with assassinating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Sony canceled the theatrical release after hacker group Guardians of Peace threatened an attack on theaters screening the film.

The U.S. is blaming the hack on North Korea.

That country can't take a joke.

Sterling canceled an upcoming speaking event at Germantown Friends School, where he graduated in 1989. Last year, he thanked GFS for his career at an alumni event, saying, "If I had spent my time here, at GFS, reading all of the books that they told me to read and listening to what these brilliant teachers had to say, and had I actually engaged for seven hours a day in all of that mind-expanding discourse . . . I wouldn't have found myself in the surreal situation of sitting in a de facto fart-joke factory and still feeling like a complete philistine."

At the same GFS speaker series event, he discussed his then-new movie, "The Interview," saying, "It's highly profane, and quite violent."

"The Interview" was Sterling's first feature film, after a storied career in television, including stints at "South Park," "The Daily Show" and "The Office."

* In related news, the Los Angeles Times reports that Paramount Pictures has canceled proposed screenings of "Team America: World Police," the puppet-hero comedy also involving North Korea from the "Book of Mormon"-mocking "South Park" satirists Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

Hey, if Mitt Romney couldn't take them down and Kim Jong-il did nothing when the film was first released, do you think they're afraid of Kim Jong-un?

But with "The Interview" causing a royal mess over at Sony, Paramount decided not to risk a massive headache of its own.


Craig Ferguson is ending his decade-long run as host of CBS' "The Late Late Show" tonight at 12:35 a.m.

Taking Ferguson's place as host of "The Late Late Show" is British actor-writer-comedian James Corden, who debuts March 9.

During the two-month interim, a slate of guest hosts - including Drew Carey, Will Arnett, Wayne Brady, Jim Gaffigan, Billy Gardell and Sean Hayes - will fill in.

Best of luck to Ferguson and his producer, Penn alum, Michael Naidus.

Us Weekly reports that Stevie Wonder, 64, has become a father for the ninth time. His girlfriend, Tomeeka Robyn Bracy, gave birth to a baby girl, named Nia.

* The Hollywood Reporter says that a Broadway musical based on the Jack Black starrer "School of Rock," will open at the Winter Garden Theater next Dec. 6.

As previously reported by Rolling Stone, Andrew Lloyd Webber - not Jimmy Page? - will compose a few new songs for the show with lyrics by Glenn Slater ("The Little Mermaid," "Sister Act"). The book will be written by Julian Fellowes of "Downton Abbey." If there's one show Tattle always confuses with "School of Rock," it's "Downton Abbey."

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.