The Interview is getting plenty of press, despite the fact that co-stars James Franco and Seth Rogen have canceled all media appearances for the Sony Pictures Entertainment comedy, in theaters Christmas Day.
E! News confirms that Thursday's New York City premiere will not take place. The actors attended the Los Angeles premiere last week, but per a reported mandate from the studio, they didn't do interviews.
The Interview depicts the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Franco, 36, and Rogen, 32, also pulled out of joint appearances on Buzzfeed Brews Tuesday and NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Wednesday. Rogen's Thursday appearance on NBC's The Late Night With Seth Meyers has also been canceled in wake of the unidentified hackers' most recent threat.
The latest anonymous email from the hackers, issued Tuesday, appeared to threaten violence against public screenings of the movie. "Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time," the hacker group wrote. "If your house is nearby, you'd better leave. Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment."
The Department of Homeland Security said it is "aware of the threat" but "at this time there is no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States." Meanwhile, CNBC sources say Sony still plans to release the film, though it will support theaters if they choose not to run it. Carmike Cinemas, which has 278 theaters in 41 states, pulled the movie Tuesday.
Another chain distanced itself Wednesday. Bow Tie Cinemas, which owns and operates 55 theaters in Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, York and Virginia, told E! News in a statement that it is "saddened and angered by recent threats of terrorism in connection with the movie, The Interview."
"It is our mission to ensure the safety and comfort of our guests and employees. Given that the source and credibility of these threats is unknown at the time of this announcement, we have decided after careful consideration not to open The Interview on Dec. 25, 2014 as originally planned," the company continued. "We hope that those responsible for this act are swiftly identified and brought to justice."
Still, other theater chains have offered support. "If they play it, we'll show it," said Tom Stephenson, CEO of Look Cinemas. "Sony has a right to make the movie, we have a right to play it and censorship in general is a bad thing."
Sony Pictures Entertainment has not commented on the threat.
According to CNBC, federal investigators have said they are closing in on the source of the cyber attack, including the part of the world where it came from. Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Entertainment is now facing two class action lawsuits filed by former employees who feel the company is to blame for stolen, private information. Industry experts predict this will be the most expensive corporate hack in history, with estimates ranging between $100 million to $300 million in losses for the American film subsidiary.
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