Sony cyber attack: Independent US theatres to screen filmtext_fields
Washington: At least two independent US theatres said Tuesday that they would screen the controversial film "The Interview", the release of which was cancelled by Sony Pictures following a cyber attack on it and threats to movie-goers.
The comedy film, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, revolves around a fictitious US plot to assassinate the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which has left North Korea fuming.
Atlanta's Plaza Theatre and the Alamo Drafthouse in Dallas are going to offer the film on Christmas day, the owners of the two theatres announced.
Sony confirmed that it will authorise those theatres to show the film.
"We have never given up on releasing 'The Interview,'" said Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton.
"While we hope this is only the first step of the film's release, we are proud to make it available to the public and to have stood up to those who attempted to suppress free speech," he said.
Earlier, Tim League, the owner of the Alamo Drafthouse, confirmed on Twitter that Sony had authorised the screening of "The Interview" on Christmas day.
In the Nov 24 cyber attack, hackers stole extensive amounts of Sony employee data, including the social security numbers and medical records of over 3,000 employees.
In addition, the cyber pirates, calling themselves the "Guardians of Peace", stole five new films from Sony, one of Hollywood's largest film studios, and leaked them on the Internet prior to their scheduled releases.
The hacking attack, apparently, was mounted as a protest against the film, "The Interview", and the US has accused North Korea of being behind it.
The North Korean government, which was outraged by the film's storyline, claimed to have "clear evidence" that the US government engineered the project as a "propaganda" attack against the country, according to media reports.
However, it has denied being involved in the attack, which it however, termed as a "righteous deed".
North Korea has urged US to conduct a joint investigation into the matter, a proposal that the US has termed "absurd".
US President Barack Obama said last Sunday that the attack on Sony Pictures was not an "act of war", but rather one of "cyber vandalism", to which the US would give a "proportionate" response.
The US government has also begun re-evaluating whether or not to place North Korea back on the state department's list of countries that sponsor terrorism, after the cyber attack.
North Korea Monday, found that Internet services in the country were cut off completely for unknown reasons, several days after the US had blamed it for the cyber attack.