Wow! I didn’t know North Korea had ‘power’ over what movies we produce here in the USA. If I were Sony, I would be flying the metaphorical middle finger and release the movie nation wide.
With theater chains defecting en masse, Sony Pictures Entertainment has pulled the planned Christmas Day release of “The Interview.”
U.S. officials have reportedly linked a massive cyber attack against Sony to North Korea, which is at the center of the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy.
“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,” Sony said in a statement. “We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.”
In announcing the decision to cancel the holiday debut, Sony also hit back at the hackers who threatened movie theaters and moviegoers and who have terrorized the studio and its employees for weeks.
“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,” the statement reads.
A few hours after making the announcent, a studio spokesman said that Sony had “no further plans” to release the comedy, either on VOD or DVD.
“The Interview” centers on a hapless television host who is recruited to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. The country has condemned the film and some cyber-security experts believe that it played a role in the hacking attack on the studio. North Korea has denied involvement in the attacks.
Rogen and Franco star in the picture, which cost $42 million to produce.
Sony has been reeling for weeks since hackers broke into the studio’s computer system in November and stole internal documents, email messages, film budgets, spreadsheets detailing top executive salaries and the social security numbers of thousands of employees. The documents and records were subsequently leaked online, setting off a firestorm of media coverage.