It’s a role-reversal that only Hollywood could come up with. In “The Interview” Seth Rogen and James Franco play unlikely assassins; now they’ve become even more unlikely targets. And Confidenti@l has learned that the actors have each been given a “giant” round-the-clock bodyguard to deal with the threat.
“They’re usually not at all the type to have security,” said an insider, “James is the kind of guy who takes the subway all the time.” The source joked that the “Spiderman” star’s beefy new companion is “double (Franco’s) size.”
On Monday, Rogen had told Howard Stern that he didn’t fear for himself after hackers claiming to work for North Korea leaked hundreds of damaging documents from the servers of Sony, the company behind his comedy about an attempt on the life of the leader of North Korean.
But since then, the hackers, who call themselves “The Guardians of Peace”, have turned violent, threatening to make “9/11”-style attacks on theaters that screen the movie, and Friday’s New York premiere was canceled amid security concerns.
Variety reported Tuesday that the pair had canceled all media appearances surrounding the release. Rogen and Franco already pulled out of appearances on “Late Night” and “The Tonight Show.”
Meanwhile, an unrelated industry insider tells us that “networks and production companies are on edge” after the security breach and that higher-ups have given their staffs “reminders about what you shouldn’t put in emails – basically don’t put anything in an email that you wouldn’t want the public to read!” The source added that jittery flacks are switching from emails to texts to communicate.
Rogen and Franco may not be the only ones who find themselves in the crosshairs. Confidenti@l is told that top-level Sony execs held a “small” crisis meeting Saturday to discuss a game plan to handle the disaster and that firing Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal “came up as a possibility.” Pascal was disgraced by a series of leaked emails in which, among other things, she suggested that President Obama might enjoy the movies “Django Unchained,” “Twelve Years A Slave” and “The Butler.”
On Wednesday, Sony announced that partly due to security concerns, the movie won’t be released in theatres but will be available on streaming services.
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