According to the FBI, an organization funded by the North Korean government called the Guardians of Peace was responsible for hacking Sony Pictures. In late 2014, hackers released thousands of private emails and even some prints of movies to the public.
The reason for the hack was, allegedly, retaliation for Sony Picture’s releasing the Seth Rogen comedy the Interview, which features a plot about Hollywood celebrities being tasked by the American government to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The Sony hacks may be the biggest in Hollywood history, but they are certainly not the first. Earlier this year hundreds of nude photos of famous celebrities were released to the Internet in a hacking scandal dubbed the Fappening. This latest round of hacks is not the first time something like this has happened, and it almost certainly won’t be the last. There have been a number of shocking revelations that have been made public because of these hacks. Here’s a look at 12 of them.
3 Sony wants to make a Men in Black and 21 Jump Street crossover
One of the strangest pieces of news to come out of the Sony hacks was the fact that Sony had some unusual plans for two of its biggest comedy franchises. Reports circulated that Sony wanted to make a crossover between 21 Jump Street and Men in Black. The idea was apparently to have Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum reprise their roles from 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street, but instead of being undercover cops in high school or college they would be members of the Men in Black and track down alien bad guys instead of drug pushers. It may seem like a hair-brained scheme, but given the popularity of the two franchises it might just work.
2 Alex Trebek wanted to quit Jeopardy
It wasn’t just movie news that leaked when Sony Pictures was hacked. News about the Sony Pictures Television-produced game show Jeopardy also hit the web. Leaked e-mails showed that Alex Trebek had threatened to quit Jeopardy in late 2014. The brouhaha arose after producers of the game show asked Trebek to reshoot a segment of the game show with an 11-year-old contestant. The contestant was 1400 dollar in the red and Trebek told her she would be ineligible for the final Jeopardy round because those are the rules of the game. The girl was upset and so was her mother, and they apparently wanted something to be done. Trebek refused and blasted off an angry email to Sony executives.
9. Sony may drop Andrew Garfield and recast Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a hugely successful film. It made just over $700 million worldwide on a budget of approximately $250 million. However, Sony saw the film as an underperformer. Given the popularity of the franchise, Sony perhaps expected the film to make over $1 billion, like the Avengers.
The Garfield-fronted sequel turned out to be the lowest grossing Spider-Man movie and the lowest grossing comic book movie of 2014. Perhaps that is why Sony apparently wants to recast Andrew Garfield.
The hack revealed that Sony was in talks with Marvel Studios to create Spider-Man movies that would be part of the Marvel cinematic universe. If that happened, then Andrew Garfield would certainly be recast because Marvel does not want Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man films connected to the Marvel cinematic universe in any way. However, even if marvel Studios and Sony never reach a deal, Andrew Garfield may still be out and Spider-Man could be recast in a Sony-produced Amazing Spider-Man 3 or Sinister Six film.
8. Sony lets the terrorists win
The fact that Sony got hacked by a North Korean funded terrorist group called the Guardians of Peace must have really sacred the company because when the group threatened to cause 9/11 type events if the Seth Rogen comedy the Interview was shown in theatres Sony decided to cancel the movie.
To be fair, Sony didn’t have much of a choice since all the major theatre chains in North America refused to show the film. Even Barack Obama said Sony should not have cancelled the Interview and United States Homeland Security made statements that the terrorist threats were not credible. Sony eventually agreed to let some independent theatres in the United States show the movie, and released it online via streaming sites such as Google Play and YouTube.
7. Members of G20 countries are surprisingly gullible
Even the world’s most powerful politicians can’t resist a good nude photo of a celebrity. During the 2011 Group of Twenty summit in Paris, it was discovered that dozens of members of G20 governments, including finance and central bank representatives, had their phones and computers hacked after opening emails that contained nude photos of Carla Bruni.
The emails not only included nude photos of the wife of then French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but they also included a virus that was intended to be used as a means of extracting information from high ranking government officials. Representatives from the Czech Republic, Latvia, Bulgaria, Portugal and Hungary were all duped by the scam.
6. Bank details of many high-profile celebrities revealed
In 2013 Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Beyonce, Ashton Kutcher, Joe Biden and numerous other celebrities and politicians reportedly had their personal banking information released to a website online.
The leak was said to be due to the hacking of a credit report company. Details such as social security numbers, bank details, mortgages, telephone numbers, car loans, credit reports and addresses were revealed. The FBI investigated the leak to determine the culprit behind the leaking of the private information, and it was determined that at least some of the information that was posted proved to be inaccurate.
5. Celebrities aren't worried about keeping private photos on the cloud
Given the sheer number of celebrities who fell victim to this infamous iCloud hacking scandal, this disaster passed over without much incident and many were outraged on behalf of their favourite celebrities.
Jennifer Lawrence seemed to be the celebrity who suffered the most. Males and females alike were hurt by this hacking scandal, but it was the actresses that suffered the most. Apple said that the hackers who were responsible for the leak managed to nab passwords, claiming the cause was not any vulnerability in the iCloud service.
4. Sony executives have been racist
The leaked emails from Sony's hack revealed a lot of behind-the-scenes details about TV show and movies, but it also revealed a little bit about the personalities of some of the higher-ups at the studio.
The Reverend Al Sharpton was one of many who were outraged by e-mails sent by Amy Pascal, the chairwoman of Sony Pictures. She joked that Barack Obama liked movies about slaves or movies that had a black lead. Pascal was forced to make a public apology after the remarks she made were revealed to the world.
3. Sony employees don’t like Adam Sandler
One of the most interesting, if not unsurprising, emails to be leaked in the Sony hacks revealed that many low-level employees were unsatisfied with Sony Pictures' decision to make so many Adam Sandler films.
Critics have widely panned the majority of Adam Sandler’s films in the last decade, and his money making ability can’t be argued. His films often prove to be incredibly profitable no matter how poorly they perform critically. Still, Forbes recently listed Sandler as the most overpaid actor in Hollywood, so perhaps the Sony Executives should start listening to some of the discontented low level employees at the company.
2. Women make less than men
The Sony hack also revealed that the wage gap is still very present in Hollywood. Payroll statement that we released to the public because of the hack showed that female executives at Sony, particularly Sony’s Columbia Pictures, make much less than their male counterparts.
Columbia Pictures' co-president Hannah Minghella is believed to have an annual salary that is $800,000 less per year than Michael De Luca, the other Columbia Pictures co-president. De Luca was believed to have made a base salary of 2.4 million in 2014 while Minghella is said to have made a base salary of $1.6 million last year.
1 Sony lost the Steve Jobs biopic because of Angelina Jolie
Sony ended up losing out on a David Fincher-directed Steve Jobs biopic that was originally supposed to star Christian Bale.
When Christian Bale dropped out of the project many wondered what would become of the movie and when Sony got hacked it was revealed there was a fight over the directing talents of David Fincher. Producer and Scott Rudin wanted Fincher for the Steve Jobs biopic, but Sony executives wanted him to direct a Cleopatra movie starring Angelina Jolie - because she demanded it. Fincher left the Steve Jobs project and Rudin got fed up. The Steve Jobs biopic is now going to be made by Universal Pictures instead.