Sony Pictures has officially scrapped the Christmas Day release of The Interview.
Late last month, Sony Pictures was hacked by a group known as the “Guardians of Peace” (GOP). Reports had surfaced after Thanksgiving that North Korea was responsible for the cyber-attack. Yesterday, the GOP released a statement that they intended to attack any movie theaters that show The Interview and made a reference to September 11, 2001.
Earlier today, movie chains such as Regal and AMC Theaters pulled out of showing The Interview on its December 25th release for security and safety concerns, prompting Sony to scrap the film’s release. The company released the following statement regarding the decision:
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.
The Interview starred Seth Rogen and James Franco as a celebrity journalist and his producer who land an interview with North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) and are recruited by a CIA Agent (Lizzy Caplan) to turn their interview into an assassination mission. The film was originally slated for release in October, but was bumped to Christmas.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree with Sony’s disappointment about the “right to free expression” or did you think the movie was a bad idea to begin with?