‘The Interview’ has quickly become a huge point of interest for the American public, with the controversy surrounding it and the Sony hacker attack driving up even more interest in the film. Yesterday, we reported that Sony has removed the social media pages for ‘The Interview’ and deleted all clips from YouTube, while North Korea officially denied any involvement in the attack and offered to work with the U.S. government to find the culprits (oh, and they threatened us, too). And while Sony has waffled on whether or not they plan to release the film, the latest update suggests we’ll see it pretty soon.
We’ve been watching the drama surrounding ‘The Interview’ unfold for weeks now, and today brings yet another update to this bizarre and disappointing series of events. Following messages from the hacker terrorist group thanking Sony for canceling the release of the film and instructing them to remove all traces of the film’s existence from the Internet, Sony appears to have begun that process. The studio has now deleted its accounts for ‘The Interview’ on Facebook and Twitter, and removed the promo and clips from the official YouTube page.
Things have been pretty intense over the last few weeks, as hackers attacked Sony and threatened terrorist action if the studio released ‘The Interview.’ You may not get to see ‘The Interview’ anytime soon, but we still have plenty of movies to look forward to, like ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2.’ As director James Gunn reveals, Sony isn’t the only studio impacted by all of this hacking business.
Just when you thought the story the Sony cyber attack and the cancellation of ‘The Interview’ couldn’t get any crazier, the President of the United States chimed in with his opinion on the matter. President Obama addressed the situation in a press conference earlier today, saying that while he’s sympathetic to Sony and the damage done to its employees, he believed the studio handled the situation the wrong way:
Sony canceling the release of ‘The Interview’ following the hacking of the studio’s private information and terrorist threats against theaters that planned to screen the film isn’t just the biggest movie news story of the year. It may very well be the biggest movie news story of the decade. These events are unprecedented and the “Guardians of Peace” (who United States officials claim are from, or at least work for, North Korea) are enjoying their victory in the most obvious way: Gloating and issuing even more threats.
I know one reaction I’ve had to the (allegedly) North Korean hackers and their attack on Sony and their movie ‘The Interview’ is “Why now?” Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are not the first American filmmakers to make fun of North Korea, or even its real-life leaders. ‘Team America: World Police,’ for example, featured a marionette-version of late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, who wants to destroy Western Civilization (but is also very lonely); the 2012 ‘Red Dawn’ remake actually changed its Asian invaders from Chinese to North Koreans in post-production because at the time that seemed like the more politically and financially safe choice. That’s not going to happen again anytime soon.
It’s kind of a strange thing to write about ‘The Interview’ now, right? Its place in culture will always be defined by the Sony hacks that preceded the movie’s release. Is any other film defined so sharply by events that were out of that movie’s control?
By now it’s quite clear: Sony is not releasing ‘The Interview’ in theaters any time soon. In the wake of the terrorist threats made against theaters that planned to screen the controversial film, and in the subsequent wake of numerous theater chains (including AMC Entertainment, Regal Entertainment, and Cinemark) canceling their planned runs of the movie, Sony decided to cancel the film’s release outright. It will not be a very merry Christmas for Seth Rogen and James Franco.
On the heels of theater owners deciding to opt out of showing ‘The Interview,’ Sony unfortunately cancelled the Christmas Day release of the film entirely. While we patiently wait to find out if, when and how Sony might eventually release the film, the hacking incident and its related terrorist threats have also affected plans for another film. New Regency has just pulled the plug on ‘Pyongyang,’ an upcoming North Korea comedy set to star Steve Carell.
Following today’s release of a message sent from the mysterious group responsible for the massive Sony hack, the company has now informed theater owners that they can opt out of screening ‘The Interview’ if they are concerned about the terrorist threat. Although the Department of Homeland Security responded by saying they could find “no credible info” on planned attacks, Sony has decided to place the decision to screen the film in the hands of theater executives.