After the devastating hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, for now it appears that the film at the center of the imbroglio — “The Interview,” a spoof about the assassination of North Korea’s leader — has not made its way onto piracy sites.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there were no legitimate measurable copies of Sony’s “The Interview” on torrent sites, according to piracy-tracking firm Excipio. While Google searches currently surface what appear to be pirated copies of the picture, those are fakes that are likely riddled with spam and viruses, according to Excipio.
Previously, the hackers responsible for the Sony cyber-attack — who brought down the studio’s internal systems on Nov. 24, an outage that lasted for about a week — stole and uploaded to piracy websites at least five of the studio’s films, including Brad Pitt-starrer “Fury” and forthcoming release “Annie,” set to hit theaters on Friday, Dec. 19.
At least certain segments of “The Interview,” which stars James Franco and Seth Rogen, appear to be floating around on the Internet. Gawker on Monday posted a 27-second clip, allegedly grabbed from the movie, showing the fiery death scene of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
On Wednesday, after a message issued by the Sony hackers threatening an attack on theaters exhibiting “The Interview,” major U.S. theater chains said they would drop or delay the release of the film, originally scheduled for Dec. 25 bow. Later in the day, perhaps as a result of the exhibitors’ pullback, Sony Pictures announced that it had canceled plans to release the film on Christmas Day. Meanwhile, the studio is considering releasing the film on premium video-on-demand in an attempt to recoup its $42 million budget, Variety reported. [UPDATE: Sony said it will not release “The Interview” in any form, including VOD or DVD.]
The fact that “The Interview” has not been shared on pirate sites in the wake of the hack — while other Sony titles were — lends credence to the theory that the North Korean government was behind the attack, given that the regime has expressed deep displeasure with the film.
The hacker threat of 9/11-style violence had previously prompted Sony Pictures to cancel the New York premiere of “The Interview” and other publicity events.
The latest developments come after Swedish law-enforcement authorities on Dec. 9 raided notorious piracy organization the Pirate Bay, shutting down its primary website in the country. Through Dec. 12, overall piracy levels of titles had not declined significantly, per Excipio.