James Franco, Seth Rogen, The Interview

Columbia Pictures

White House officials said Thursday that the Sony hacking is a "serious national security matter," but they stopped short of publicly pointing a finger at North Korea.

Although a senior U.S. official told NBC News Wednesday that Kim Jong-un's nation was responsible for the hacking, White House press secretary Josh Earnest was a bit more tight-lipped the following Per NBC News, Earnest said the U.S. is considering a "proportional response" to the hacking once investigators determine precisely who is responsible. He also suggested that the response would not be made public.

The Interview, Seth Rogen and James Franco's fictional comedy about killing North Korea's dictator, is reportedly the reason behind the hack. George Clooney, Ben Stiller, Rob Lowe and countless stars have spoken out against Sony's unprecedented move of pulling the film from theaters as a result of threats made.

"Here, we're talking about an actual country deciding what content we're going to have. This affects not just movies, this affects every part of business that we have," Clooney told Deadline. "That's the truth. What happens if a newsroom decides to go with a story, and a country or an individual or corporation decides they don't like it. Forget the hacking part of it."

"You have someone threaten to blow up buildings and all of a sudden, everybody has to bow down," he said. "Sony didn't pull the movie because they were scared. They pulled the movie because all the theaters said they were not going to run it. And they said they were not going to run it because they talked to their lawyers and those lawyers said, if somebody dies in one of these, then you're going to be responsible."

But experts don't think that The Interview is going to disappear like some might like. "A movie with this much press behind it, honestly, you know it has people kind of in a fervor to see this, and it is going to find a home in theaters," said Jeff Bock, senior box office analyst for Exhibitor Relations Co., Inc. in Los Angeles, told NBC News.

Sony did not return NBC News' requests for comment regarding a possible early 2015 release. A Sony spokesperson confirmed to NBC News on Wednesday the studio "has no further release plans for the film"—which includes no video-on demand release.

David Poland, a film industry analyst, movie critic, and founder of the website Movie City News, said he predicts "the movie will come out in January of February."

Bock agreed, saying, "Once things settle down and once the culprits are brought to justice, this film will get released."

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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