Despite some oblique threats from the Sony hackers surrounding the release of The Interview on Christmas Day, there had never been anything so specific until now. According to Variety, the hackers issued the following 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.
While North Korea has previously denied involvement, this sort of militarized attack seems like something they’d threaten. It’s not known whether these hackers (the supposed “Guardians of Peace”) are actually armed and dangerous, this threat will certainly test Sony’s mettle.
The hackers also released the “Christmas Gift” of files they had earlier said they’d be issuing, although the contents of those files are not yet clear. The file is called “Michael Lynton”—named for the Sony CEO—but it’s unclear right now if he is being targeted specifically.
UPDATE: According to Buzzfeed, Seth Rogen and James Franco have canceled all scheduled media appearances. They were slated to do interviews with Buzzfeed and Yahoo, as well as appearing on TV on Watch What Happens Live, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Both actors' reps have refused comment, but one has to wonder if the movie's release is about to get delayed or outright axed after today's pointed threat.
A Department of Homeland Security official, however, tells Variety that there's no imminent threat: "We are still analyzing the credibility of these statements, but at this time there is no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States."