‘The Interview’ is Being Edited So It Won’t Start World War III
A few months back, the nation of North Korea gave Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's 'The Interview' the best advertising imaginable. The film, which deals with American TV journalists (played by Rogen and James Franco) who are roped into assassinating dictator Kim Jong Un, led to the real Kim Jong Un denouncing the film and making all kinds of crazy, desperate and antagonistic threats. You know: typical behavior from one of the world's most deranged governments. Now, Sony is apparently altering significant portions of the film to appease the North Korean government and prevent a goofy comedy from starting an actual war.
The news comes via The Hollywood Reporter, who say that Sony is digitally removing thousands of military decorations on the uniforms of the North Korean military characters. Apparently, showing these specific symbols, which honor Kim Jong Un and his late father Kim Jong Il, on film would be considered hugely offensive to the North Korean government. That seems completely and totally crazy, but then you remember we're talking about North Korea here.
Oh, and Sony is also considering cutting a scene where (SPOILER ALERT!) the fictional Kim Jong Un (played by Randall Park) has his face melted off in graphic fashion. Which, considering how Rogen and Goldberg's 'This is the End' deftly combined comedy and gore, sounds like it could be hilarious.
Unfortunately, no number of good jokes are worth an actual war breaking out or shattering whatever lingering diplomatic relations still exist between North Korea and Japan (where Sony is based). We don't blame the studio for playing it safe here -- this is a country that launched missiles in Japan's general direction to protest this film's trailer. No one knows if this nation of starving people and their megalomaniacal leader would actually go to war over a movie, but no one wants to find out.
The best case scenario here is that Sony is able to make limited changes (and keep the face melting!) without causing an international incident. Both Rogen and Goldberg (who are Canadian, by the way) have remained good-humored about this whole controversy in public and on social media, but it's hard to imagine them disagreeing. Honestly, at the end of the day, all we want is a movie as weird and funny as 'This is the End.'
'The Interview' is now set to open on December 25, 2014.