‘The Interview’s New York premiere cancelled in wake of apparent threat from Sony hackers

The controversial Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy film follows a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-Un

The New York premiere of Seth Rogen and James Franco’s controversial new comedy film The Interview has been cancelled in the wake of an apparent safety threat.

A threatening message sent yesterday (December 16) by the so-called “Guardians of Peace” – the group which claims responsibility for hacking into the computer systems of The Interview‘s makers Sony Pictures – invoked the attacks of September 11 in warning cinema-goers not to attend screenings of the film.

“Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. If your house is nearby, you’d better leave. Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment,” the written message said.

A spokesperson for the cinema due to host The Interview‘s New York premiere confirmed that the event has been cancelled, the BBC reports, but did not explain why. Sony Pictures bosses have told US cinema chains that they will not object if planned screenings of The Interview are scrapped in the wake of the apparent threat.

A representative for the US Department of Homeland Security said in response to the apparent threat from the so-called ‘Guardians of Peace’: “We are still analysing the credibility of these statements, but at this time there is no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theatres within the United States.”

Meanwhile, Rogen and Franco have pulled out of several planned US TV appearances to promote the film, in which the pair play celebrity journalists who land an interview with North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-Un, but are instructed by the CIA to assassinate him.

North Korea has denied any involvement in the recent hacking of Sony Pictures, but branded it a “righteous deed” that its “supporters and sympathisers” may possibly have helped to perpetrate.