There’s a pretty big update here on The Interview front. After being totally canceled (like canceled, canceled) Sony has announced that the movie will be released in a limited theatrical capacity, despite threats.
The opening of the new comedy from James Franco and Seth Rogen became an international incident earlier this week when the Sony hacks yielded threats against theaters showing the film, resulting in Sony’s decision to pull the film. After widespread American disapproval of this decision (from the president, Hollywood stars, laymen etc.) the film is back. Many are calling this decision a win against the terrorists, and a win for free speech.
Here’s, a field guide to The Interview and its many discontents.
What is The Interview about that’s so controversial?
The plot of The Interview is about a celebrity journalist and his producer, Franco and Rogen respectively, who land an interview with North Korean dictator Kim-Jung Un and then go on a mission to assassinate him. The plot was one that North Korean officials did not condone. In July, North Korean ambassador Ja Song Nam complained about the movie to the United Nations, declaring that they regarded it as an act of war and a sponsoring of terrorist activity, “reckless US provocative insanity.”
What does that have to do with the Sony hacks?
The group behind the mass hackings of Sony Pictures Entertainment, an invasion of privacy that exposed thousands of emails and all kinds of sensitive data of many of the company’s employees, named Guardians of the Peace linked their activities to the release of the movie, which is planned for Christmas Day this year. On Tuesday, the hackers released a statement of warning, threatening to attack US cinemas that show the film. “Remember the 11 of September 2001,” the group wrote in a message. “We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. . .Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainments.”
What’s the response been?
The New York premiere of The Interview at the Landmark Sunshine Theater has been cancelled, though the Department of Homeland Security said there was no “credible intelligence to indicate an active plot.” Analysts predict that other theaters are likely to pull the film from theaters rather than risk potential violence from the group, a big financial blow to Sony. Rogen and Franco also pulled out of all media appearances to promote the film in response to the threats.
The latest news is that major movie theater chains like Regal, AMC, Cinemark and Cineplex announced their plans to cancel screenings of the movie as of earlier this week, in the wake of the hacker threat.
“Due to the wavering support of the film The Interview by Sony Pictures, as well as the ambiguous nature of any real or perceived security threats, Regal Entertainment Group has decided to delay the opening of the film in our theaters,” Regal said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday. Eventually Sony pulled the film entirely, and people were absolutely furious.
“The movie looks dead,” stated Deadline.com. Looks like it might be back.