Update: Sony Pictures has now canceled the release of The Interview entirely. A statement from the studio is below, at the end of this post.
Tuesday, December 16, brought news that Seth Rogen, co-writer, co-director, and co-star of lightning-rod satire The Interview, had canceled all media appearances in advance of the Christmas Day nationwide release of the movie, whose entirely fictional plot centers on a CIA plan to assassinate North Korea’s real-life Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un. Rogen and co-star James Franco had been set to appear on BuzzFeed Brews in New York on Tuesday, and one or both were scheduled as guests later in the week on, among other shows, Late Night With Seth Meyers and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Not long afterward, in response to threats of terrorist attacks against moviegoers attending The Interview, multiplexes across the country began pulling the film from their schedules, and Landmark Theatres announced that a preview slated for December 18 on Manhattan’s Lower East Side had been scrapped.
Also on Tuesday, the Voice published a lengthy interview with Rogen, which the filmmaker had granted to film writer Amy Nicholson just as the fallout from the movie’s planned release was beginning to reverberate through the national media.
“It’s legally the weirdest shit ever,” Rogen told Nicholson about the movie’s premise. “Normally in a movie like this, they would make up a guy — it would be Kim Song Bob.” Despite the fact that the North Korean subject was not made up, the film’s credits close with the obligatory statement that The Interview is a work of fiction, in which any similarities to persons living or dead are coincidental.
Click through to read Nicholson’s feature, “Scary Funny.”
Here’s Sony’s statement:
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. We respect and understand our partners’
decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety
of employees and theater-goers.
Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against
our employees, our customers, and our business. Those who attacked us stole our
intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material,
and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale — all apparently to thwart the
release of a movie they did not like. We are deeply saddened at this brazen
effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to
our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers
and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this
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