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Sony Cancels Roll-Out of 'The Interview' After Threats Cause Theater Chains to Dump It

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Sony Pictures Entertainment has canceled its Christmas Day roll-out of the James Franco-Seth Rogen film The Interview after hacker threats of a 9/11-style terror attack spooked theater chains into dropping the film.

Wrote Sony in a 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."

The hacker group Guardians of Peace, which has been on a damaging data release campaign against the studio after a deep security breach in November, wrote earlier this week that,

"We will clearly show it [our Christmas gift] to you at the very time and places 'The Interview' be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to...The world will be full of fear...Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment. All the world will denounce the SONY."

Many are speculating that a North Korean group is behind the hack and the threats because the comedic film features the assassination of Kim Jong Un. Franco and Rogen canceled all appearances for the movie following the threats.

UPDATE: U.S. officials say they have connected the Sony hackers to North Korea, NBC News reports.

The officials say the hacking attack originated outside North Korea, but they believe the individuals behind it were acting on orders from the North Koreans.

"We have found linkage to the North Korean government," according to a U.S. government source.

The officials offered no further details.


LOOK: New Photos Of Zachary Quinto and James Franco In 'Michael'

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New photos have been released showing actors Zachary Quinto and James Franco in their upcoming film Michael, produced by Gus van Sant, which follows the life of "ex-gay" activist Michael Glatze. As Attitude Magazine notes, Glatze was the "co-founder of [the short-lived publication] Young Gay America and a strong advocate for gay rights, who later denounced homosexuality after a health scare." Glatze married a woman in 2013. Emma Roberts will play Franco's wife in the film.

We also learned just yesterday that Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears will be scoring the film. Shears made the announcement on Instagram: "Thrilled to announce that I have scored my first feature film with Tim Kvasnofsky."

Michael will also reportedly feature a steamy threesome between Quinto, Franco and Charlie Carver (whom Towleroad readers may remember from his Teen Wolf days). 

Check out a few more sneak peeks of Michael, AFTER THE JUMP...

And in case you missed them, peep a look at Quinto and Franco is late 90s / early 00s period attire HERE.

(Photos via Attitude UK)

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SNL Shows You How to Grow Your Own James Franco At Home: VIDEO

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For those times when you're in a pickle and need an emergency friend, there's Grow-a-Guy.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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James Franco, Zachary Quinto and Charlie Carver Have 'Very Hot' Three-Way Sex Scene In 'Michael'

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James Franco, Zachary Quinto and former Teen Wolf star Charlie Carver will reportedly be steaming up the big screen in the upcoming film Michael, about former gay rights activist turned ex-gay poster boy Michael Glatze. Franco plays Glatze while Quinto plays his then boyfriend Bennett. E! Online reports how the duo bed Carver in the movie:

"They first meet in a club. The music is pumping. It's the eighties!" a source said. "When Charlie's character questions Franco about having a boyfriend, Franco says, 'He'd like you, too.'"

Cut to the bedroom, where the three are naked, intertwined and "kissing," the source said. "You see their asses." [...]

The three enjoy a romance, but when Michael leaves, the breakup is "disastrous and heartbreaking," the source said.

Franco posted a photo of himself and Carver on Facebook in August with the caption "BOOM! Welcome to our Boys Spaceship! Blast off!!!!"

Gus van Sant is executive producing Michael along with Franco. Vince Jolivette, Scott Reed, Ron Singer and Joel Michaely are signed on as producers. It's based on the Benoit Denizet-Lewis NYT article "My Ex-Gay Friend".

Previously, we got to sneak a peek of Franco and Quinto cozying up to one another and rocking their best 90s party boi looks.


James Franco and Seth Rogen Have a No Pants Party in the Wild on 'Naked and Afraid' - VIDEO

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James Franco and Seth Rogen are teaming up and striping down for an upcoming episode of Naked and Afraid, the Discovery Channel's reality series that throws two people in the wilderness without food, clothing, or supplies.

You may recall the two showed some skin on Instagram last month to tease the episode.

"Man you really shaved everything huh?" Rogen asks Franco in a new promo. "Oh yeah well I guess you didn't," Franco replies. 

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...(mildly NSFW)

You can also catch the funny men in their new movie The Interview in theaters December 25. 

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Continue reading "James Franco and Seth Rogen Have a No Pants Party in the Wild on 'Naked and Afraid' - VIDEO" »


James Franco Boyfriends Up to Zachary Quinto in First Official Still From Gay-Themed Film 'Michael'

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While we've seen various shots posted by James Franco and Zachary Quinto on Instagram, this is the first official still we've seen from the film, in which Franco plays "ex-gay" activist Michael Glatze, writer for the (now shuttered) gay twink magazine XY and co-founder of the short-lived publication Young Gay America, who denounced his homosexuality and became a poster boy for that movement. Glatze also became a pastor and married a woman.

Gus van Sant is executive producing the film with Franco, Vince Jolivette, Scott Reed, Ron Singer and Joel Michaely as producers. It's based on the Benoit Denizet-Lewis NYT article "My Ex-Gay Friend".

Quinto plays Glatze's former boyfriend Bennett. The film also stars Teen Wolf's Charlie Carver.

The shot above appears in an American Film Market preview story in The Hollywood Reporter.


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