It’s not every day that a movie studio is the victim of a concerted terrorist assault, but Sony has found itself besieged on all sides. Death threats to stars, hackers taking control of computer systems, finished films leaking before release date… Sony is getting a beating, and it’s all because of the leader of North Korea. Kim Jong Un is NK’s current despot-in-chief, and as such, the party is very invested in the fact that their tiny leader gets treated with some respect. Seth Rogen and James Franco felt differently, so they took on roles in a goofy comedy making fun of the Glorious Republic of Korea. Then the hackers got involved and now it looks like the whole thing is falling apart. Sony is pulling The Interview after repeated death threats, hacking attacks, and theater chains dropping the picture.
The film, which cost $42 to produce and has consumed at least that much in terms of marketing efforts, stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as a pair of Hollywood half-wits who take on a CIA job to assassinate the leader of North Korea. Clearly, North Korea didn’t like that, and while they claim not to have anything to do with the hacking, I’m sure Sony might disagree. Either way, the pressure from all sides of the supply chain, as well as a desire to mitigate damage to the company, has put The Interview on ice. However, there’s still a chance it will show up on VOD either via cable companies or Sony’s impressive install base of home entertainment systems and portable screening rooms.
Said Sony’s press release: “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.”
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