After hackers attacked Sony at the end of November and leaked a number of high-profile emails, amongst other things, a group from North Korea (known as the “Guardians of Peace”) then threatened violence if the movie “The Interview,” starring Canadian Seth Rogen as well as James Franco, was released, forcing Sony to pull the premiere last Wednesday.
However, Sony recently reconsidered and had a limited theatrical release for the movie. Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton said last Tuesday that Rogen’s North Korea farce “will be in a number of theatres on Christmas Day” (AP). More and more independent theatres volunteered to show the flick as well, including “Game of Thrones'” author George R. R. Martin, who had publicly volunteered his own personal theatre, which is located in Sante Fe, to screen “The Interview” (CBC News). On his personal blog in an entry that he entitled “Corporate Cowardice,” Martin wrote, “I mean, really? REALLY?? These gigantic corporations, most of which could buy North Korea with pocket change, are declining to show a film because Kim Jong-Un objects to being mocked? The level of corporate cowardice here astonishes me… it astonishes me that a major Hollywood film could be killed before release by threats from a foreign power and anonymous hackers. For what it’s worth, the Jean Cocteau Cinema will be glad to screen ‘The Interview’ (assuming that Sony does eventually release the film for theatrical exhibition, rather than streaming it or dumping it as a direct-to-DVD release), should it be made available to us. Come to Santa Fe, Seth, we’ll show your film for you.”
Several weeks ago, while being asked about the possibility of backlash following “The Interview’s” debut, Rogen joked, “You’re always hoping nothing horrible is going to happen, obviously. If something horrible happened and they were like, ‘It’s inappropriate to release this movie now,’ we’d ultimately go, ‘Yeah, we got to make it and got paid in advance'” (The Associated Press). He recently tweeted: “The people have spoken! Freedom has prevailed! Sony didn’t give up! The Interview will be shown at theaters willing to play it on Xmas day!”
Hours after Sony had initially pulled “The Interview” from theatres, news broke that the upcoming Steve Carell movie based on Quebec City-born cartoonist Guy Delisle that was set in North Korea had also been cancelled (CBC News). Citing an article on Deadline Hollywood, New Regency scrapped the project, which was untitled and set up in October – it was being developed by director Gore Verbinski (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) and was written by Steve Conrad, with production already scheduled to start in March.
So far, “The Interview” has made more than $15 million in online rentals and purchases (Relaxnews). It just came out that a number of Canadian theatres will also show the comedy.
Photo: Brian To/WENN.com