It's one of the biggest hacking scandals in U.S. history — and one the world certainly didn’t see coming. Sony executives were left humiliated after North Korea infiltrated the studio’s emails in revenge for The Interview – a comedy about assassinating communist leader Kim Jong-Un. From Angelina Jolie to President Obama, no one was spared from the embarrassing aftermath. Here’s a list of the most shocking revelations — so far.
Adolf Hitler may not have been able to torpedo Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator but North Korean hackers have forced Sony to pull The Interview from its Christmas Day release. Their 9/11 style threat on movie theaters showing the controversial comedy was the final straw. “Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault…” the company said in a statement released on December 17, 2014.
After the terrorist threats Hollywood filmmakers like Judd Apatow urged the studio not to pull The Interview. After a series of movie theaters refused to show the film, he tweeted, “I am not going to let a terrorist shut down freedom of speech. I am going to The Interview.”
Daily Life In Pyongyang
Despite initial confusion and debate as to whether North Korea were behind the cyber attack on Sony the FBI confirmed that forces acting on behalf of the communist state are responsible.
Los Angeles premiere of ‘The Interview’
Leaked emails reveal that Sony execs were antsy about the release of The Interview and the offense it would cause, especially overseas. In May 2014 Steven O’Dell, head of international distribution, sent a print of the movie to Sun-Yong Hwang, a Sony executive based in South Korea. Hwang wrote in response, “Do you think there will be a possibility that Kim Jun Eun sic may launch missles sic to our office if we release it?”
‘The Equalizer’ photocall during the San Sebastian Film Festival
Race has been a prominent theme in the scandal. Amy Pascal (Sony Pictures Entertainment Co-Chairman) and producer Scott Rudin came under fire for joking about which black movie is President Obama’s favorite in a series of emails. Meanwhile, correspondence between a couple of other execs revealed their fears that movies starring black actors like Denzel Washington may not do well overseas because “the international motion picture audience is racist.”
‘Reach Me’ premiere
No one wants their personal data including passwords and Social Security numbers revealed to the world. Celebs like Sylvester Stallone, Judd Apatow, Rebel Wilson and even Princess Beatrice are among those have all had their private information exposed because of their connection to Sony. Meanwhile Daniel Craig will never again be able to book into a hotel under the alias ‘Olwen Williams’ because that too – along with other celebrity aliases – has been revealed.
“The Amazing Spiderman 2″ premiere in Berlin, Germany
Thousands of Sony employees have been the victims of the hacking. And some have already filed class-action lawsuits against the studio for not working hard enough to prevent their sensitive information being leaked. One suit, which was filed by a former Spider-Man 2 staffer, says, “Sony moved forward with the film, knowing that by doing so, it created an unreasonable risk for Plaintiffs and Class Members.”
2014 LACMA Art + Film Gala Honoring Barbara Kruger And Quentin Tarantino Presented By Gucci – Red Carpet
Kanye West makes a cameo appearance in The Interview. Maybe that has something to do with the rapper’s bid to pitch a feature film to Sony Pictures. The Daily Beast unearthed a series of leaked emails that revealed West’s creative director contacted Pascal, saying, “We have a major film project coming up that involves both cinematic and technological innovation so I naturally thought Sony and wanted to reach out.”
World premiere of ‘American Hustle’ in NYC
Feminism may have been the buzzword of 2014 but apparently Sony didn’t get the memo. Among the embarrassing leaked emails was the revelation that Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were both paid less than their male counterparts (Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Renner) to make the hit movie, American Hustle. Both women received a 7-point share of the backend profits while the actors – and the director David O. Russell – were given 9 points each.
‘The Monuments Men’ premiere in Paris
George Clooney was deeply upset by the failure of his movie Monuments Men. In an email to Pascal in early 2014, he wrote, “I fear I’ve let you all down.” However, he is very upbeat about his upcoming film adaption of the book Hack Attack (about the U.K. tabloid phone hacking scandal) likening it to the movie classic Citizen Kane. In another leaked email he wrote, “Everything will be double sourced…so come on with your lawsuits…f**kers.”
Hollywood is just like high school and it seems that producers can be as catty as teenage girls. In an email exchange with Amy Pascal about the remake of Cleopatra starring Angelina Jolie, producer Scott Rudin barked, “I’m not destroying my career over a minimally talented spoiled brat...”
Philly’s own Kevin Hart comes home to celebrate ‘The Wedding Ringer’ movie in Philadelphia, PA
Michael Fassbender presents “X-Men: Days of Future Past” in Moscow on Tuesday May 13, 2014
So far Michael Fassbender has featured more than once in the Sony hacking scandal. In an email to Pascal, Aaron Sorkin bitched about the actor when he was touted as a possible lead in a Steve Jobs biopic. The Newsroom creator wrote, “I don’t know who Michael Fassbender is and the rest of the world isn’t going to care.” Meanwhile producer Michael De Luca joked about the size of the 12 Years A Slave star’s penis saying it “makes you feel bad to have normal sized male genitalia.”
The Premiere of Lionsgate’s ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1′ at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, California
In another email exchange Pascal alleges that Sorkin (whose hits include The Social Network and Moneyball) is “broke” and that he is “sleeping with” Molly Bloom, an author whose book he is trying to adapt into a movie. But in a New York Times op-ed slamming the media’s coverage of the cyber attack, the filmmaker denied being broke and, with regards to being “romantically involved” with the author, he said “I wish.”
18th annual Hollywood Film Awards
Channing Tatum’s leaked email to Pascal is more cute than scandalous. Following the news that his comedy 22 Jump Street topped the box office in its June 2014 opening weekend – and the news that it beat Ted in the list of best-ever opening weekends – he wrote, “F YOU TED !!!! SECOND OF ALLLL TIMMMMME BEEEOTCH!!!!”
Arrivals at the ‘Blended’ Los Angeles Premiere
Emails between Judd Apatow and Pascal revealed that he was not happy that Sony planned to open his film (Trainwreck) on July 24, 2015, the same day his best pal Adam Sandler plans to open his comedy (Pixels). The funny man wrote, “I never put my movies on Sandler’s dates…We all respect each other. We don’t try to hurt each other.”
A photocall for ‘Spectre’ the 24th James Bond Film
Have the hackers also derailed one of the world’s most famous secret agents? Leaked emails revealed that Sony execs were not impressed with the new James Bond script. The new Bond movie (which has a $300 million budget) has just started filming in London but the hackers leaked an early draft of the next installment, Spectre.
Jennifer Lawrence attends the Premiere of Lionsgate’s ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1′
Who you gonna call? When it comes to the new Ghostbusters movie – thanks to the hackers – we now know that Sony execs would love Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Melissa McCarthy and Lizzy Caplan to be part of the ghost-fighting team. Meanwhile they are toying with the idea of having Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage play the movie’s villain.
‘St. Vincent’ New York Premiere
Bill Murray’s participation – or not – in the Ghostbusters reboot is another shocking revelation. Hacked emails reveal that Sony execs were debating whether or not to sue the original cast member because he doesn’t want to appear in the movie. The studio’s legal head David Steinberg allegedly wrote that “if this goes public” Sony would be “in much worse shape.”
The 47th Annual Grammy Awards – Arrivals
He may no longer be his daughter Beyoncé’s manager but that doesn’t mean that Mathew Knowles hasn’t got his finger in the Destiny’s Child pie. Leaked documents also revealed that in 2013 he reached out to the company pitching a biopic about the successful R&B girl group. But Sony apparently rejected the idea.
‘The Other Guys’, NYC Premiere
How much damage can one cyber attack make? Well The Interview is not the only casualty according to the U.K.’s The Times newspaper. The hacking has left Sony unable to process payments so some current and future film shoots have ground to a halt and have been completely abandoned for now.
‘Fury’ directed by David Ayer photocall at Invalide’s monument in Paris
If you dig far online somehow you may be able to see some of Sony’s films for free, including some unreleased flicks. The hackers have leaked movies like Brad Pitt’s Fury and the remake of Annie online for all to see without stepping foot in a theater.
Drake hosts Houston Appreciation Night at Houston Astros baseball game
Premiere Of Columbia Pictures’ “The Interview” – Red Carpet
World Premiere of “American Hustle” in NYC
The reputation of David O. Russell has taken a beating during this scandal. In one leaked email a Sony exec joked the director allegedly groped his transgendered niece. In another note sent to Sony Pictures Chairman Michael Lynton, journalist Jonathan Alter alleges the director acted “so crazy on American Hustle... that a lot of people won’t work with him again.” Most shockingly Alter alleges O. Russell “so abused Amy Adams that Christian Bale got in his face and told him to stop acting like an asshole.”
NYC premiere of ‘After Earth’
Amy Pascal’s leaked correspondence also revealed that she allegedly thinks Leonardo DiCaprio – who pulled out of a Steve Jobs biopic – is “absolutely despicable.” Meanwhile Ryan Gosling “absolutely loved” her, talent agent Ilene Feldman says in feedback after a meeting the exec had with the hunky actor. As for Will Smith’s kids Willow and Jaden, the head of TriStar productions apparently mocked the teens in an email to Pascal about an interview the “home schooled” kids gave to T Magazine.
Some execs were concerned about The Interview long before its release, including Sony’s Japanese chief executive. According to secret (and now published) emails Kazuo Hirai asked that a scene in which Kim Jong-Un’s head explodes when hit by a tank shell be toned down to remove the flaming hair and chunks of skull.
“The Amazing Spiderman 2″ premiere in Berlin, Germany
Sony has lots of ideas about the new direction Spider-Man should take apparently. Emails reveal that – along with Columbia Pictures – they toyed with the idea of a “female spidey movie” as well as having the superhero make a cameo appearance in the next Captain America film.
Celebs at HBO’s “The Newsroom” Los Angeles Premiere
According to Aaron Sorkin – before the hackers dumped thousands of internal documents and emails onto the Internet – they threatened Sony employees by sending them “violent and disturbing imagery.” The shadowy group, who dubbed themselves “The Guardians of Peace” also sent a message saying “Not only you but your family will be in danger” if the studio releases The Interview as planned.
CNN Journalist Award 2013
In one surprising exchange, it was revealed the Jeff Zucker had contemplated plans to introduce game show programming to CNN.
Jeopardy! Power Players Week
Speaking of game shows, Alex Trebek said that he might walk away from Jeopardy! over a standoff with a child contestant’s mom. Luckily for fans, it blew over.
Angelina Jolie, Shiloh, Maddox, Pax, Zahara Marley, Vivienne and Knox go to Sydney Wildlife and Aquarium in Darling Harbour, NSW, Australia Part 1
The iconic ‘Hollywood’ sign on Mount Lee, Hollywood Hills, CA
Hollywood vs. ISIS? One exchange revealed that the U.S. government had reached out to Sony for help fighting terrorism abroad.
In another hilarious anti-Jolie email, Rudin wrote “KIll me now. Immediately.” in response to Jolie’s comments on a script.