Sony cancels theatrical release of The Interview

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      Sony Pictures has decided to cancel the theatrical release of The Interview in the wake of threats made against exhibitors and patrons by the group Guardians of Peace. 

      Here's Sony's statement:

      “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.”

      In even worse news, Annie will still open wide on Friday.

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      8 Comments

      Chickens hit

      Dec 17, 2014 at 3:47pm

      Straight to DVD - as it probably should be?

      A. MacInnis

      Dec 17, 2014 at 4:16pm

      You know, I really liked This Is The End - wacky, inspired, inventive filmmaking. So I'm a bit sad to hear about this cancellation. But it all seems a bit false and underwhelming, somehow, and less than entirely believable. I mean, the Guardians of Peace? Really? Can't be someone's attempt to generate controversy/ free publicity, could it?

      Natty

      Dec 17, 2014 at 4:55pm

      To fulfill all my North Korean farce needs, I shall watch Team America: World Police.

      Bruce

      Dec 17, 2014 at 5:13pm

      People will laugh - it seems so trivial - but if this really is North Korean hacking Sony, then this is a successful terror attack. We're running scared, aren't we?

      A. MacInnis

      Dec 17, 2014 at 7:23pm

      Actually, a really cruel/ smart "filmed prank" against North Korea is called The Red Chapel. Now that's a film that could have inspired a violent retaliation...

      A. MacInnis

      Dec 18, 2014 at 5:42am

      Martin - thanks, an interesting read. I liked the film more than that, even likened it to Schroeder's Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait when I blogged about it during the VIFF. What I wrote at the time: "It's not a comfortable experience in the slightest -where Schroeder stuck a figurative knife in Idi Amin's back, Brugger and crew drop a bomb on an entire country, revealing, critiquing, and mocking the servility and mendacity of an oppressed people, whose regime iron-fistedly pounds them into complicity (but who nonetheless appear to deal with the Danes with a certain amount of misplaced goodwill). It's an immensely brave piece of filmmaking, utterly unique, intensely thought-provoking, funny in all sorts of unsettling ways, and absolutely not-to-be-missed; it climaxes with the Danes participating in an anti-US rally that is right out of Triumph Of The Will. It's possibly cruel and maybe even offensive enough that even fans of Borat might dig it..."

      @Bruce

      Dec 18, 2014 at 8:34am

      The values that are supposed to exist in western society, as distinct from, say, North Korea, do not really exist. True, in NK the Regime demands a bit more compliance, but we have a similar Regime here, just look at the Regime's demand that Jeff O'Neil apologize. Whether a de jure or a de facto government. There are people all over the world who share NK's attitude toward freedom of expression. It is a criminal offense in North Korea to joke about killing their Dear Leader, you know. People must respect their Leaders, and jokes about killing the Leader, they undermine the Leader's dignity, which is natural and inherent, not just a funny, circular argument against jokes!

      On the other hand, if it is a PR exercise, well played. But I doubt it. Look at the level of insanity on the Jeff O'Neil thread. Imagine those people had a nation-state and could use it to police the world, make us all safe from sexist jokes. I bet they'd make NK look positively rational.