After the largest North American movie theater chains pulled the film, Sony announced Wednesday it would not be releasing The Interview on Christmas Day as previously scheduled.
Earlier today, “The Interview” was pulled from release after movie theater chains refused to screen the controversial film.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) December 17, 2014
The film stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as talk show hosts who score an interview with a fan–North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. A CIA operative (Lizzy Kaplan) helps them try to assassinate the North Korean leader.
After hacks into Sony and threats of violence comparable to 9/11 from those hackers if the film was released, the company decided not to show the film on Christmas Day. Regarding the planned premier of the movie, the hackers said,
“The world will be full of fear. Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)”
In response, Sony released a statement on the withdrawal of the film’s release:
“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.”
Prior to Sony’s announcement, the top five movie theater chains–Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas, and Cineplex Entertainment–said they would not show the film.
Furthermore, the New York City premiere of the film was cancelled. Franco and Rogen cancelled all media appearances, including a BuzzFeed Q&A and a guest appearance slated for Thursday on Late Night With Seth Meyers, according to The Associated Press.
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The company left the door open to a possible future release on premium on-demand, Variety reported.
Many celebrities and pundits reacted to the news on Twitter:
— Dan Gainor (@dangainor) December 17, 2014
Once again, Americans have united along bipartisan lines. This time, to demand that #TheInterviewMovie not cave to threats of violence.
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) December 17, 2014
I think it is disgraceful that these theaters are not showing The Interview. Will they pull any movie that gets an anonymous threat now?
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) December 17, 2014
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) December 17, 2014
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2014
ultimately, people most likely will get to see ‘the interview.’ so this is the bigger victory for the hackers, right? http://t.co/AdHe2JEJTn
— andy levy (@andylevy) December 17, 2014
Terrorism wins. Most major movie chains vow not to show Sonys ‘The Interview’ in the face of hacker threats. Via LATimes
— Andrew Malcolm (@AHMalcolm) December 17, 2014