And the “bad day” continues to stretch on for Sony Pictures.
If you haven’t heard, Sony Pictures was recently hacked by a group of (presumably North Korean) hackers who call themselves “Guardians of Peace” aka #GOP in the biggest of way. The hack unleashed a barrage of movies as well as private documents belonging to the company – and not just the confidential Sony Pictures files in which not even all the employees would have access to. Seemingly every document ever produced at the company was also leaked, including the secret aliases/pseudonyms used by celebrities when they are trying to avoid being detected (read: to check into hotels, to book car services, to make reservations).
Fusion was the first to release a list of names along with some explanations of how they came to be. The one thing we can all agree on is the hilarity that is Rob Schneider’s “fake” name, “Nazzo Good”. Say it out loud for effect! Here are some of the aliases revealed publicly by the documents:
- Tom Hanks: goes by “Harry Lauder” and “Johnny Madrid” (the former of which was the name of a famous Scottish comedian, and the latter of which may be a reference to a character on Lancer, a 1960s Western series)
- Sarah Michelle Gellar: goes by “Neely O’Hara” (probably a Valley of the Dolls reference)
- Tobey Maguire: goes by “Neil Deep”
- Natalie Portman: goes by “Lauren Brown”
- Clive Owen: goes by “Robert Fenton” (his wife’s name is Sarah-Jane Fenton)
- Rob Schneider: goes by “Nazzo Good” (not so good – get it?)
- Taye Diggs: goes by “Scott Diggs” (his real name)
- Jude Law: goes by “Mr. Perry”
- Daniel Craig: goes by “Olwen Williams” (an homage to his grandfather, Olwyn Williams)
- Jessica Alba: goes by “Cash Money”
- Ice Cube: goes by “Darius Stone” and “O’Shea Jackson” (the former of which was his character’s name in XXX: State of the Union, and the latter of which is his actual name)
- Debra Messing: goes by “Ava Harper”
But that’s not all. The bigger concern are the company’s actors, because it has come to light that their contact information is also part of the latest document dump.
According to Fusion, in the latest batch of files leaked by GOP, there is a folder containing “publicity bibles” for many recently released Sony Pictures films. These documents, which are compiled and distributed among film staff, serve as contact directories for the duration of filming.
They include phone numbers and e-mail addresses for directors, producers, publicists, cast members, and crew. And, in some cases, they include the false names stars assume in order to protect their privacy. Hollywood stars such as Tom Hanks, Jonah Hill, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts are among those affected. It’s easy to change an alias; changing a mobile phone number, however, is not as easy.
Other findings from the leak include:
- Thousands of vendor contracts, for everything from animals to cars to boats. For example, one contract between Sony Pictures and William Berloni Theatrical Animals, an agency that rents animals to film studios, outlines the terms of a one-day, $2,100 dog rental for a photo shoot for the upcoming Annie remake.
- Unreleased scripts for dozens of upcoming films and TV shows. Among the leaked scripts: “Mall Cop: Blart 2”, “Goosebumps”, “The Wedding Ringer”, and Seth Rogen’s upcoming comedy, “Sausage Party”.
- Dozens of “greenlight studies” for upcoming Sony Pictures films, detailing the rationale for making (or not making) a given movie. Here is a slide from the greenlight study for the upcoming “Angry Birds” adaptation, showing where it ranks among other games:
- Confidential “popularity polls” detailing approval ratings and awareness ratings for hundreds of A-list celebrities in different markets around the world. These ratings are used to make casting decisions. For example, in one spreadsheet, Will Ferrell is listed as having 64% average awareness in 10 key overseas markets, while Tina Fey gets only 35% average awareness.
- A folder of “publicity bibles” containing detailed contact information for dozens of Hollywood celebrities, including Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, and Julia Roberts. These documents also contain information on anyone connected to Sony Pictures movies. (In the “Moneyball” publicity bible, for example, phone numbers for “Moneyball” author Michael Lewis and Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane are listed alongside contact information for Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill.)
- A folder full of “exit snapshots”, detailing audience reactions and box office totals for recent films.
- Documents related to ongoing litigation, including legal claims made against Sony Pictures by the Screen Actors Guild and former employees.
- Financial forecasts for upcoming films, including “Inferno” and “Smurfs 3”. Some of these forecasts are quite revealing. For example, one spreadsheet showed that revenue projections for the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic fell by 25% once Leonardo DiCaprio pulled out of the project, and Christian Bale was cast in his place. (Bale has since quit, too.)
Meanwhile, according to Variety, Sony Pictures has warned employees to not connect to corporate networks or access their email. The company has been working with law enforcement officials, including the FBI, to investigate the cause of the data breach and has hired security firm FireEye and its Mandiant unit to look into the incident. It has also been estimated that the issue might take anywhere from one day to 3 weeks to be resolved.
More to come at the story unfolds.