Sony hack movie in the works from Oscar-nominated team (exclusive)

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The first film to address the Sony Pictures hack is in the works, from the team behind 2013's Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning documentary The Square from Netflix. Spouses Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer quietly are working on a documentary that explores the cyberattack, whose twists and turns captivated Hollywood late last year, culminating with Sony's Amy Pascal stepping down from the co-chairman post under CEO Michael Lynton in February.

The untitled film is expected to drop new bombshells. Sources say director Noujaim and producer Amer will put forth alternative theories about the hack's culprit. (Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer's Mike Lerner also is producing.) After the breach was detected Nov. 24, focus immediately shifted to North Korea, which had expressed outrage over The Interview. On Dec. 19, the FBI and President Obama fingered the rogue nation as the perpetrator.

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Sony hack movie in the works from Oscar-nominated team (exclusive)
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Kazuo Hirai, president and CEO of Sony, speaks during a news conference at the International CES on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
FILE --In this Oct. 4, 2013 file photo, Amy Pascal, Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman, arrives at Variety's 5th Annual Power of Women event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Pascal is under fire for racist remarks that surfaced in emails made public by the Sony cyberattack. Pascal apologized Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, for the “insensitive and inappropriate” comments in her emails that she says are “not an accurate reflection of who I am.” (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2011 file photo, producer Scott Rudin attends The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures awards gala at Cipriani's 42nd Street in New York. Rudin, the high-powered producer at the center of the latest embarrassment stemming from the Sony hacking scandal, has apologized for remarks he made in leaked emails. In the series of private emails obtained by Gawker and Buzzfeed this week, Rudin, corresponding with Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal, called "Unbroken" director Angelina Jolie a "spoiled brat" and made jokes about President Barack Obama's race and presumed taste in movies. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 2, 2014 file photo, Sony Pictures Entertainment headquarters in Culver City, Calif. Some cybersecurity experts say they’ve found striking similarities between the code used in the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment and attacks blamed on North Korea which targeted South Korean companies last year. Sony has not commented on any Korean connection, except to deny a report Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014 that it was poised to announce such a link. But three independent researchers told The Associated Press there are intriguing signs of a North Korean link to the attack, even as others warned it’s difficult to make a definitive connection. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, FIle)
Actors James Franco (L) and Seth Rogen arrive for the premiere of the film 'The Interview' at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, California on December 11, 2014. The film, starring US actors Seth Rogen and James Franco, is a comedy about a CIA plot to assassinate its leader Kim Jong-Un, played by Randall Park. North Korea has vowed 'merciless retaliation' against what it calls a 'wanton act of terror' -- although it has denied involvement in a massive cyber attack on Sony Pictures, the studio behind the film. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Amy Pascal, Co-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group and Producer Todd Black seen at Columbia Pictures Premiere of "The Equalizer" at 2014 TIFF on Sunday, Sep. 7, 2014, in Toronto. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Sony Pictures/AP Images)
Actor Brad Pitt poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film Fury, which closes the BFI London Film Festival, in central London, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Actors, from left, Jon Bernthal, Logan Lerman, Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf pose for photographers at the photo call for the film Fury, which closes the BFI London Film Festival, at the Corinthia hotel in central London, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
Actor Brad Pitt, right, and director David Ayer pose for photographers during the photocall of "Fury", in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
From left: Shia LaBeouf, General of the French army Christian Baptiste, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, Brad Pitt, General of the French army Herve Charpentier, Michael Pena and director David Ayer pose for photographers during the photocall of "Fury", in Paris, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Director David Ayer, actors Michael Pena, Brad Pitt and Logan Lerman attend the press conference for 'Fury' during the 58th BFI London Film Festival at The Corinthia Hotel on October 19, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Brad Pitt attends the closing night European Premiere gala red carpet arrivals for 'Fury' during the 58th BFI London Film Festival at Odeon Leicester Square on October 19, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/WireImage)
Washington, DC, USA. 15th Oct, 2014. Actor Brad Pitt poses with soldiers at the world premiere of "The Fury" at the Newseum on October 15, 2014 in Washington DC. © Debby Wong/Alamy Live News
NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 20: Quvenzhane Wallis, actress from the movie 'Annie' attends a Turnaround Arts New Orleans Event at ReNew Cultural Arts Academy on November 20, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Tyler Kaufman/Getty Images for Columbia Pictures)
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 1911' - The night continued by celebrating the new, contemporary spin on the classic show 'Annie,' coming to movie theaters December 19th. Starring Quvenzhané Wallis, as Annie, talented young dancers joined her to perform a dance to 'It's The Hard-Knock Life,' choreographed by Mandy Moore, in the two-part finale, beginning MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET), on ABC. (Photo by Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images)
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 1911' - The night continued by celebrating the new, contemporary spin on the classic show 'Annie,' coming to movie theaters December 19th. Starring Quvenzhané Wallis, as Annie, talented young dancers joined her to perform a dance to 'It's The Hard-Knock Life,' choreographed by Mandy Moore, in the two-part finale, beginning MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET), on ABC. (Photo by Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images)
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 1911' - The night continued by celebrating the new, contemporary spin on the classic show 'Annie,' coming to movie theaters December 19th. Starring Quvenzhané Wallis, as Annie, talented young dancers joined her to perform a dance to 'It's The Hard-Knock Life,' choreographed by Mandy Moore, in the two-part finale, beginning MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET), on ABC. (Photo by Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images)
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 1911' - The night continued by celebrating the new, contemporary spin on the classic show 'Annie,' coming to movie theaters December 19th. Starring Quvenzhané Wallis, as Annie, talented young dancers joined her to perform a dance to 'It's The Hard-Knock Life,' choreographed by Mandy Moore, in the two-part finale, beginning MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET), on ABC. (Photo by Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images)
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 1911' - The night continued by celebrating the new, contemporary spin on the classic show 'Annie,' coming to movie theaters December 19th. Starring Quvenzhané Wallis, as Annie, talented young dancers joined her to perform a dance to 'It's The Hard-Knock Life,' choreographed by Mandy Moore, in the two-part finale, beginning MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET), on ABC. (Photo by Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images)
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 1911' - The night continued by celebrating the new, contemporary spin on the classic show 'Annie,' coming to movie theaters December 19th. Starring Quvenzhané Wallis, as Annie, talented young dancers joined her to perform a dance to 'It's The Hard-Knock Life,' choreographed by Mandy Moore, in the two-part finale, beginning MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET), on ABC. (Photo by Adam Taylor/ABC via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 20: Quvenzhane Wallis, actress from the movie 'Annie' attends a Turnaround Arts New Orleans Event at ReNew Cultural Arts Academy on November 20, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Tyler Kaufman/Getty Images for Columbia Pictures)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 20: Quvenzhane Wallis, actress from the movie 'Annie' attends a Turnaround Arts New Orleans Event at ReNew Cultural Arts Academy on November 20, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Tyler Kaufman/Getty Images for Columbia Pictures)
Actress Dorothy Atkinson signs a film poster for the London Film Festival premiere of Mr Turner at the Odeon West End in central London, Friday, Oct. 10, 2014. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 24: Actor Timothy Spall poses with his Best Actor award for his role in the film 'Mr. Turner' as he attends the Palme D'Or Winners photocall during the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 24, 2014 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 24: Actor Timothy Spall, winner of the Best Actor award for his role in the film 'Mr. Turner', attends the Palme D'Or Winners photocall during the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 24, 2014 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, center, poses with the Palme d'Or award for the film Winter Sleep and actor Timothy Spall, second right, poses with his award for Best Actor for his role in the film Mr. Turner during the awards ceremony for the 67th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Saturday, May 24, 2014. At third right is presenter actress Uma Thurman and at second left is director and presenter Quentin Tarantino. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Julianne Moore, a cast member in "Still Alice," poses at a special screening of the film at AFI Fest 2014 on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, in Los Angeles (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Kristen Stewart, left, and Julianne Moore, cast members in "Still Alice," pose together at a special screening of the film at AFI Fest 2014 on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, in Los Angeles (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Kristen Stewart, a cast member in "Still Alice," poses at a special screening of the film at AFI Fest 2014 on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, in Los Angeles (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Sony Pictures Classics co-founders and co-presidents Tom Bernard, far left, and Michael Barker, far right, pose with "Still Alice" cast members Kristen Stewart, second from left, and Julianne Moore, second from right, and co-directors/co-writers Wash Westmoreland, top, and Richard Glatzer at a special screening of the film at AFI Fest 2014 on Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Julianne Moore attends the premiere for "Still Alice" on day 5 of the Toronto International Film Festival at the Winter Garden Theatre on Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, in Toronto. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Actress Julianne Moore arrives at AFI FEST 2014 Presented By Audi 'Still Alice' Premiere at Dolby Theatre on November 12, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
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But many in the cybersecurity community believe that the attack likely was an inside job given that the hackers exhibited intimate knowledge of the architecture of Sony's servers. Others are skeptical about how an isolated regime could pull off such a sophisticated media campaign (outlets like THR that received direct missives from the hackers appeared to have been carefully targeted). And North Korea has denied culpability. To date, the only group officially to take credit for the attack is the so-called Guardians of Peace, whose identity remains shrouded in mystery.

Amer and Noujaim, whose The Square chronicled the 2011 Egyptian Revolution and won three Emmys, already were working on a doc about international cyberattacks when the Sony story began unfolding, and they decided to use that hack -; one of the largest and most damaging in corporate history -; as an entry point for a broader look at the phenomenon of cyber aggression. But sources say that when John Sloss, whose Cinetic Media repped The Square at Sundance two years ago, approached several power brokers entangled in the hack about speaking on camera, he repeatedly was rebuffed.

"The Sony story is an important chapter in this larger issue," says Amer, who declined to discuss any roadblocks encountered or the film's narrative specifics. "The analysts and experts we speak to see it as the 9/11 of cyberattacks, and the implications will be felt for years to come."

A version of this story first appeared in the June 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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