North Korea was behind the cyber attacks against Sony that forced the movie studio Wednesday to cancel the release of “The Interview,” according to a U.S. government source quoted by Reuters.
U.S. officials will announce Thursday that despite denying any involvement in the online leaks, the nation is responsible, according to reports.
The hackers sent a threat Tuesday warning people not to go theaters to see the movie, which centers around an attempted assassination of Kim Jong Un, telling them to "remember the 11th of September 2001."
Major movie theater chains, including Regal and AMC, decided Wednesday not to premiere the movie on its Christmas Day opening, and eventually Sony followed suit and postponed the release.
"We respect and understand our partners' decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theatergoers," the company said in a statement.
Sony is not planning to release the movie through video-on-demand, a spokeswoman for the studio said on Wednesday.
"Sony Pictures has no further release plans for the film," the spokeswoman said in response to a question about whether the movie could be released in theaters at a later date, or for home viewing through video-on-demand options.
Critics immediately began to call out Sony for the decision.
"With the Sony collapse America has lost its first cyberwar. This is a very very dangerous precedent," tweeted former Republican House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich.
New Yorkers were mixed about Sony’s move.
Gabriel Barrato, 26, of the Bronx, said that people were getting too scared over an alleged threat behind a comedy.
"I think people are blowing this out of proportion," he said, adding that he would still like to see the movie.
Other New Yorkers said they are still cautious when it came to potential terrorism.
"This is New York. We are always on high alert and yeah, you can’t take these threats lightly," said Karen McClellan, of Union Square.
Star James Franco and co-writer/director/star Seth Rogen, who canceled promotional appearances following the threat, didn’t release an immediate statement for comment.
Over the last few weeks several confidential Sony documents, including salaries, emails and scripts, have leaked online.
Marshall Fine, a movie critic and industry expert, objected to what he deemed a stifling of free speech.
“I feel like it’s capitulating to terrorists. You’re giving in,” Fine said.
Patrick Oehler, 35, of Sunset Park, agreed.
"There were similar movies like ‘Dr. Strangelove’ during the Red Scare and they were spoofing the military and nothing happened," he said.
Alicia Allard, 66, of Park Slope, however, said the studio should never have gone forward with the controversial movie in the first place.
"I hope people learn a lesson from this. Don't screw with other people’s politics!" she said.