Steve Carell’s North Korea Comedy ‘Pyongyang’ Cancelled Thanks to Sony Hack
UPDATE: Director Gore Verbinski reached out to Deadline with more specifics on the cancellation of his North Korea-set comedy ‘Pyongyang’:
Getting the facts straight:
Yesterday, I was told by New Regency and Fox that Fox will no longer be distributing the film. Prior to that, the film was green lit and fully funded by New Regency with Fox distributing. I have been told in no uncertain words that based on the situation at Sony, Fox has now decided to not distribute the film. Without a distributor, New Regency was forced to shut the film down.
I find it ironic that fear is eliminating the possibility to tell stories that depict our ability to overcome fear.
The original story continues below.
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.
THR reports that New Regency has cold feet following the Sony hacking, which resulted in that studio canceling the release of ‘The Interview.’ New Regency was set to produce ‘Pyongyang,’ a new film based on the Guy Delisle graphic novel of the same name from director Gore Verbinski. The film, which had Steve Carell attached to star, was set to begin production in March. Carell was slated to play an American who is accused of espionage in North Korea.
Perhaps fearing similar hacking attacks from the same organization calling themselves the Guardians of Peace, New Regency has decided to drop ‘Pyongyang.’ The Sony hack had officials initially suspecting an inside job, but recent reports appear to point towards the possibility of North Korea. The hacks have released thousands of e-mails from inside the studio, revealing their upcoming film plans, internal memos, and the salaries and social security numbers of employees.
Sony released an official statement today regarding their decision to cancel the release of ‘The Interview,’ although an earlier report from Variety suggested they may yet decide release the film on VOD—a decision many people strongly support, following general disappointment with Sony’s decision to cave to terrorist demands.