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Sony Pictures has named Tom Rothman as a replacement for Amy Pascal.

Amy Pascal stepped down as co-chair following a debilitating cyber attack that revealed her private emails.

Hollywood veteran Tom Rothman, 60, who will become the chairman of Sony’s motion picture group, spent 18 years at 20th Century Fox and helped bring Titanic and Avatar to the big screen.

He left Fox in 2012 and has been chairman of TriStar Productions, a joint venture with Sony, since 2013.

The entertainment division of Sony Corp said that Michael Lynton would remain its chief executive and chairman. Tom Rothman will report to him.

Michael Lynton said: “Tom’s creativity, strong talent relationships and track record of enduring films and commercial success are unparalleled in this industry.”Tom Rothman replaces Amy Pascal at Sony Pictures

Amy Pascal, one of the most powerful women in Hollywood, stepped down as co-chair of Sony Pictures earlier this month.

She was the highest-profile victim of the November cyber attack and reportedly commented on the viewing habits of President Barack Obama in a derogatory manner in an email to producer Scott Rudin.

The attack by a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace prompted Sony to cancel the planned release of the film The Interview. It depicted the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The group was linked with North Korea and US authorities believe the attack was retaliation for the studio’s decision to make The Interview. Amy Pascal had been one of the champions of the film.

She will start a production company backed by Sony in May that will produce new Spider-man movies, among others.

In his TriStar role, Tom Rothman has overseen several anticipated dramas including The Walk by Robert Zemeckis that stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Ang Lee’s adaptation of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, a novel by Ben Fountain about the Iraq war.


Sony said Tom Rothman will remain responsible for the TriStar productions in the near future.

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Sony Pictures’ co-chair Amy Pascal has decided to step down following a debilitating cyber attack that revealed her private emails.

Amy Pascal will start a production company that will launch in May 2015.

She has already apologized for certain revelations that came as a result of the leaked emails.

Last month, Sony condemned the “vicious” attack, which led it to suspend the release of the film The Interview.

“I have spent almost my entire professional life at Sony Pictures and I am energized to be starting this new chapter based at the company I call home,” said Amy Pascal in a statement.Amy Pascal quits Sony Pictures after hack attack

She added that her transition to a production role had been discussed “for some time”.

As part of the agreement, Sony will fund Amy Pascal’s production company for at least the next four years, and it will retain distribution rights.

Sony did not immediately name a successor to Amy Pascal, leaving Michael Lynton as the sole head of one of Hollywood’s biggest production studios.

Amy Pascal was one of the highest profile Sony names whose emails were leaked as part of the hack.

She reportedly commented on the viewing habits of President Barack Obama in a derogatory manner in an email to producer Scott Rudin.

Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin both subsequently apologized for the emails, with Amy Pascal saying in a statement at the time: “The content of my emails to Scott were insensitive and inappropriate but are not an accurate reflection of who I am.

“Although this was a private communication that was stolen, I accept full responsibility for what I wrote and apologize to everyone who was offended.”

On November 24, Sony revealed that it had been the subject of a hack by a group calling themselves Guardians of Peace (GOP).

GOP was later traced back to North Korea, who US authorities believe instituted the attack in retaliation for Sony’s decision to produce The Interview, in which North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is killed.

The group gained access to the company’s network and stole huge amounts of internal information, including emails and copies of films, such as Annie, that had not yet been released.

Although Sony did withdraw The Interview before its planned release, it ultimately made it available to view online and allowed it to be shown at some cinemas.

The Interview made about $15 million through downloads alone over its first three days of distribution.

The cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment that forced the cancellation of The Interview movie release is being seen as a serious national security matter, the White House says.

A White House spokesman said the US believed the hacking was the work of a “sophisticated actor” – but refused to confirm if North Korea was responsible.

Sony Pictures withdrew The Interview, a new comedy film about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, after threats from hackers.

Hackers have already released sensitive information stored on Sony computers.

They later issued a warning to members of the public planning to see The Interview.

Referring to the 9/11 terror attacks, they said “the world will be full of fear” if the film was screened.Sony Pictures hack attack seen as US security issue

Many cinemas scrapped plans to show the film, and Sony then cancelled the release of the film altogether – moves criticized in Hollywood as an attack on the freedom of expression.

At a White House briefing on December 18, spokesman Josh Earnest said US officials had held daily discussions about the Sony cyber attack and were considering an “appropriate response”.

However, he refused to comment on who was responsible, saying he did not wish to pre-empt an investigation by the Department of Justice and the FBI.

The Interview, made by Sony Pictures, features James Franco and Seth Rogen as two journalists who are granted an audience with Kim Jong-un.

The CIA then enlists the pair to assassinate him.

The Interview was due to have been released over Christmas.

In November, a cyber attack crippled computers at Sony and led to upcoming films and workers’ personal data being leaked online.

The hackers also released salary details and social security numbers for thousands of Sony employees – including celebrities.

Earlier this month, North Korea denied hacking into Sony’s computers – but praised the attack itself as a “righteous deed”.

An article on North Korea’s state-run KCNA news agency, quoting the country’s top military body, said suggestions that Pyongyang was behind the attack were “wild rumor”.

However, it warned the US that “there are a great number of supporters and sympathizers” of North Korea “all over the world” who may have carried out the attack.

In the article, Sony Pictures was accused of “abetting a terrorist act” and “hurting the dignity of the supreme leadership” of North Korea by producing the movie.

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Sony Pictures Entertainment has confirmed it has no plans to release The Interview movie internationally, in any form, following threats from hackers.

Cinemas in the US canceled screenings of the film, about a plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un prompting Sony to shelve it altogether.

There has been dismay in Hollywood, with Ben Stiller calling the move “a threat to freedom of expression”.

Hackers had issued a warming to cinema-goers who planned to watch the movie.

President Barack Obama recommended that “people go to the movies”, but stressed that the hack was “very serious”.

Speaking to ABC, the president added: “We’ll be vigilant – if we see something that we think is serious and credible, then we’ll alert the public.”

Several other famous names have criticized the decision to shelve the movie, accusing the studio of caving in to the hackers’ threats.

On December 17, it emerged that Steve Carell’s planned film project, a thriller called Pyongyang about a Westerner working in North Korea, was scrapped ahead of Sony’s announcement.

Sony said it was “deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie”.

“We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theatre-goers,” the studio said.The Interview release date canceled

It added: “We stand by our film-makers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”

The cancellation comes after hackers calling themselves Guardians of Peace released emails and data stolen from Sony in late November.

In a later warning to cinemas screening The Interview, they referred to the 9/11 attacks, claiming “the world will be full of fear”.

“Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time,” the hacker group wrote, in a message on December 16.

“Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.”

Sony had given theaters in the US and Canada the option to bow out of showing The Interview in the wake of the threats.

Regal Cinemas, AMC Entertainment and Cinemark Theatres – the top three theatre chains in North America – subsequently announced they were postponing screenings, and Canada’s biggest theatre firms also pulled out, leaving Sony seemingly no choice but to postpone the film.

However, the Alamo Drafthouse cinema in Texas has decided to replace The Interview with a screening of Team America, a film featuring a marionette of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, the father of Kim Jong-un.

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Sony Pictures Entertainment has decided to cancel The Interview movie release on December 25, after major cinema chains decided not to screen it.

The Interview is about a fictional plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Hackers have already carried out a cyber attack on Sony and warned the public to stay away from cinemas screening the film.

The US government said it was considering a “range of options” on how to respond to the attack.

“We know that criminals and foreign countries regularly seek to gain access to government and private sector networks – both in the United States and elsewhere,” a National Security Council statement said, adding that the FBI was leading the investigation.

“We take very seriously any attempt to threaten or limit artists’ freedom of speech or of expression.”

The statement came after US media quoted anonymous officials as saying that the FBI had linked North Korea to the attacks.

On December 17, the New York premiere of The Interview was canceled.

Sony says it understands its partners’ decision.Sony Pictures cancels The Interview release

However, in a statement it said it was “deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie”.

“In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release,” it said.

“We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theatre-goers.”

The statement added: “We stand by our film makers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”

Hackers calling themselves Guardians of Peace have released emails and data stolen from Sony in late November.

In a recent warning they mentioned the 9/11 attacks, claiming “the world will be full of fear”.

“Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time,” the hacker group wrote in a message on December 16.

“Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.”

Earlier, Sony had given theatres in the US and Canada the option to bow out of showing The Interview in the wake of the threats.

Regal Cinemas, AMC Entertainment and Cinemark Theatres – the top three theatre chains in North America – subsequently announced they were postponing screenings, and Canada’s biggest theatre firms also pulled out, leaving Sony seemingly no choice but to postpone the film.

Jimmy Kimmel tweeted that the decision by theatres to refuse to show the film was “an un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent.”

The Interview cost Sony an estimated $42 million to produce – not nearly as much as action films like The Hunger Games or the X-Men films – but still a significant amount for a comedy film.

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