Okay, so maybe it wasn’t North Korea who leaked Annie, as fun as that sentence is to type and hopefully read. But although a North Korean official flat-out denied the country’s involvement in cyber attacks on Sony Pictures last week, rebuking Sony’s charge that the Communist dictatorship hacked its systems as revenge for a Seth Rogen movie, said movie continues to factor into Sony’s ongoing humiliation at the hands of an anonymous (but probably not North Korean) group of hackers.
Last night, the group, which calls itself Guardians of Peace or #GOP, leaked a 210-page document supposedly containing the $44 million production budget for The Interview. Besides the salaries for stars Seth Rogen ($8.4 million) and James Franco ($6.5 million), the purported budget contains highlights like $74,000 for two tigers, their handlers, and special “tiger accommodations,” as well as a $250 budget for a “table of weed, coke, pills and panties” that actually came in at $241. (Good job, prop department.)
So if North Korea isn’t responsible for exposing The Interview’s tigers-and-panties budget, who is? The Hollywood Reporter speculates that a Sony insider is probably behind the attacks, and quotes cybersecurity expert Hemanshu Nigam as saying, “It is possible that North Korean-sponsored hackers were working with someone on the inside. But it is more likely a ruse to shift blame, knowing the distaste the North Korean regime has for Sony Pictures.” There are plenty of people out there with a reason to hate Sony, as the company has laid off hundreds of employees as part of cost-cutting measures over the past year. Perhaps a disgruntled ex-tiger wrangler?
UPDATE: The insider now suspected of hacking Sony’s network probably hates Adam Sandler as well. That’s what a leaked document titled “Sony_2012_Comments,” a spreadsheet aggregating employee complaints about the company, says. Gawker dug into the document and found that many of the grievances involved Adam Sandler, like the anonymous employee who wrote, “There is a general ‘blah-ness’ to the films we produce. Although we manage to produce an innovative film once in a while…we continue to be saddled with the mundane, formulaic Adam Sandler films.”
A (long) list of Adam Sandler-related gripes can be found here.