A lawyer for Sony Pictures has said the studio still intends to distribute its controversial comedy The Interview, days after the film’s original Christmas Day release was canned.
Sony pulled the release last week after hackers linked to North Korea threatened cinemas that chose to screen the film, which depicts the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in a rocket explosion.
David Boies, a lawyer for Sony, told NBC on Sunday that Sony “only delayed” the release. “Sony has been fighting to get this picture distributed,” Mr Boies said. “It will be distributed. How it’s going to be distributed, I don’t think anybody knows quite yet. But it’s going to be distributed.”
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama reiterated his belief that Sony “made a mistake” by pulling The Interview from cinemas. In an interview with CNN broadcast on Sunday, Mr Obama said: “If we set a precedent in which a dictator in another country can disrupt... a company’s distribution chain or its products and, as a consequence, we start censoring ourselves, that’s a problem.”
Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton said last week that the studio still hoped to distribute the film, which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as hapless US TV journalists enlisted by the CIA to assassinate Mr Kim, but that cinema chains and video-on-demand distributors remained reluctant to release a film that had prompted a devastating cyber-attack on Sony.
Mr Boies described the hack of Sony's computer systems last month as “a state sponsored criminal attack on an American corporation and its employees.” Acknowledging the assistance of the FBI in investigating the attack, he added: “This is not a Sony security problem. This is a national security problem. And the government has got to lead.”
North Korea has denied responsibility for the hack, and said it would retaliate if subjected to reprisals by the US. The country’s National Defence Commission said in a statement on Sunday that it was “ready to stand in confrontation with the US in all war spaces including cyber-warfare space.”