BOSTON (Reuters) - U.S. security agencies are investigating a threat against theaters planning to show Sony Corp’s controversial movie about an assassination of the leader of North Korea, and so far they have seen no real sign of an active plot, two U.S. officials said.
A hacking group published what appear to be more internal emails on Tuesday and promised a “bitter fate” for those who went to see the movie, “The Interview” following a cyber attack that severely damaged movie studio’s network.
An official at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and another U.S. security official cast doubt on the threat.
“At this time there is no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States,” the DHS official said.
Sony is already reeling from the disclosures in documents released by the hackers, which have publicly exposed internal discussions important to the company’s future.
Reuters has not been able to verify the authenticity of the more than 100 gigabytes of documents that have been distributed via the Internet. The company has confirmed that at least some are authentic, apologizing for the loss of sensitive employee data and some comments made by executives.
“The Interview,” starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, is scheduled to debut in U.S. and Canadian theaters on Dec. 25.
BuzzFeed reported that Franco and Rogen had canceled all planned media appearances on Tuesday, the day they were scheduled to appear at a BuzzFeed event. Representatives for the actors did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A Sony spokeswoman had no immediate comment on the threat.
The newest file published on Tuesday appeared to be emails from Sony studio chief Michael Lynton. Several rounds of leaks of emails have prompted apologies for disparaging remarks that executives made about celebrities. The leaks have included a James Bond script, high-quality digital copies of films that have yet to be released and private employee data.
Sony has also been sued by two self-described former employees who accuse Sony of failing to properly protect their personal data. Sony declined comment on the lawsuit.
Reporting By Jim Finkle and Mark Hosenball; Writing by Peter Henderson; Editing by Grant McCool