December 18, 2014
There is no movie being talked about more at the moment than Seth Rogen and James Franco’s The Interview. As you can see from the trailer James Franco plays a television personality with Rogen by his side. Once they get a chance to interview North Korea’s dicatator, Kim Jong-un, the CIA requests that the interview be turned into an assasination attempt. It comes as no surprise to anyone that North Korea and the man himself, Kim Jong-un, have been displeased by this news.
Months ago North Korea released a statement which stated their displeasure. They went as far to call it “undisguised terrorism” and a potential act of war. Most recently, Sony Pictures was hacked by a group calling themselves the Guardians of Peace. With those cyber attacks came threats reffering to 9/11 and the movie in question, The Interview.
Today it seems that North Korea, or the Guardians of Peace, or whoever is behind these threats has won. Sony Pictures announced they have pulled The Interview from it’s Christmas Day release. To go along with that, Steve Carrell’s thriller set in North Korea has been cancelled. The Alamo Drafthouse, a theatre in Texas, decided to fill the open time slot with Team America: World Police, a stop-motion film from the guys behind South Park that depicts Kim Jong-il as the villain. Don’t plan on attending the screen though because Paramount Pictures has pulled the film.
It truly is a sad day for artistic freedom when another country can control what does or does not get released. I admit that if I were a movie theatre owner/manager that I would be hard-pressed to make my employees come to work even with a minimal potential of danger, but for Sony Pictures to pull the movie altogether and state they have no plans to release the movie whatsoever is a little ridiculous. As a matter of fact, from a business standpoint it seems like the perfect time for a straight to video on-demand release. The movie sure has built up some publicity with this free marketing campaign.
In the end, I am saddened by the news. Whether you like Rogen and Franco or not this should leave a bad taste in your mouth.
Below are some notable tweets about the event. It doesn’t seem that Rogen or Franco have said anything publicly on the matter.
Update 12/19/14 3:45: President Obama has echoed the thoughts of many, including myself, that it was a mistake for Sony to cancel The Interview.
Sad day for creative expression. #feareatsthesoul
— Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) December 17, 2014
Sony’s decision to pull THE INTERVIEW is unsettling in so many ways. Good thing they didn’t publish THE SATANIC VERSES.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) December 18, 2014
Kim Jong Un: 1 America: 0
— RainnWilson (@rainnwilson) December 18, 2014
Hey N Korea! Watching “Team America: World Police” this weekend. So fuck you. #merica
— Drew Carey (@DrewFromTV) December 18, 2014
Worried about the prospects for my new film,“Abbot and Costello Fuck North Korea’s Mom.”
— Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) December 17, 2014
Dear Sony Hackers: now that u run Hollywood, I’d also like less romantic comedies, fewer Michael Bay movies and no more Transformers.
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) December 17, 2014