Th amount of press the Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg created comedy, The Interview, has been getting of late, Sony had a guaranteed box office hit on their hands, regardless if the film was any good.
However, as reported yesterday, the Sony hackers, calling themselves The Guardians of Peace, have stepped up their cyber attack and threatened 9/11 style trouble for any cinema that shows the controversial comedy. You can read their statement here.
Some cinema chains already cancelled showing of The Interview, which was due to release on Christmas Day in the US, and the premiere (due to take place tonight)has also been cancelled. All promotional interviews etc have been cancelled this week, all thanks to this vicious and vile threat which many claim to be the North Korean’s in response to the film. North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un himself called the film an act of war, and would retaliate should the film get released.
Carmike Cinemas were the first to cancel screenings:
“The top priority for Carmike Cinemas is to ensure that our valued guests may enjoy the entertainment of their choosing in a safe and comfortable environment. Carmike must take threats against movie theatres very seriously and the recent unprecedented cyber-attacks against Sony Pictures are no exception. Therefore, in an abundance of caution, Carmike will delay the exhibition of The Interview. There are many additional excellent movie titles to choose from this holiday season, and we look forward to welcoming our patrons.”
Yesterday AMC theatres cancelled all showings, issuing the following statement:
“As friends and families make plans for the upcoming holidays, AMC has received many questions about which movies we are playing in the weeks ahead. The recent cancellation of The Interview‘s premiere and publicity appearances by its leading talent, and the overall confusion and uncertainty that has been created in the marketplace, brings into serious doubt whether the movie will open at all next week. At this time, to best enable AMC guests to plan their holiday movie-going with certainty and confidence, AMC is programming its theatres without The Interview.” From Cineplex: “Cineplex takes seriously its commitment to the freedom of artistic expression, but we want to reassure our guests and staff that their security is our number one priority.”
Regal cinemas stated:
“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 theatres.” Cinemark simply said, “We have determined that we will not exhibit this film at this time.”
While the Department of Home Security has not found any active threats on cinemas, naturally chains are being cautious for the safety of their guests, and at this point no one really knows how far these terrorists are willing to go. They have already leaked hundreds of damaging emails, so clearly they do not care who or how many people they hurt, but are they really threatening violence with their latest sickening statement?
Sony are taking no chances, and while many Hollywood actors and directors are complaining about Sony’s decision to cancel The Interview, public safety should come first. However, then there is the question of allowing these bullies to get what they want, and sadly they have as Sony issued the following statement last night:
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 outcome.
Seth Rogen and James Franco were due to appear on a number of chant shows this week, but have cancelled all interviews and all promotion appearances for the controversial comedy.
The Interview is written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, and the cast includes Seth Rogen, James Franco, Randall Park, Lizzy Caplan, Diana Bang and Charles Rahi Chun.
In the action-comedy The Interview, Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show “Skylark Tonight.” When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang, their plans change when the CIA recruits them, perhaps the two least-qualified men imaginable, to assassinate Kim Jong-un.
UPDATE: It has now been confirmed that Sony have cancelled all release plans everywhere outside of the US as well, which means here in the UK too. Reports are saying there are plans for a VOD release soon, but these have not yet been confirmed.