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Sony Plans To Release 'The Interview' In Theaters On December 25th

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The Interview is coming to a limited number of theaters here in the U.S. on December 25th. In a statement issued by Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton, the company made a definitive decision to release the film following a week’s worth of debate over its controversial content.

"We have never given up on releasing The Interview, and we're excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day," Lynton explained. “At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience."

The specific number of theaters that will be showing the film is unclear, though Sony has stated that the release will be somewhat small. So far both the Alamo Drafthouse and The Plaza Atlanta (who offered to screen the film before Sony’s reversal) have confirmed that they’ll be showing the film with Sony’s blessing. Sony has also hinted that it’s working to  "secure more platforms,” which may point to a same-day video on demand release.

“The people have spoken! Freedom has prevailed,” Seth Rogen tweeted out earlier today. “Sony didn't give up! The Interview will be shown at theaters willing to play it on Xmas day!”

The Seth Rogen and James Franco satire comedy in which the pair are tasked to assassinate Kim-Jong Un first made waves as part of the recent attack on Sony’s servers. In addition to terrabytes worth of celebrity gossip and scripts to unreleased movies, hackers released The Interview’s penultimate scene in which Kim-Jong Un is engulfed in flames. Guardians of Peace, the group claiming responsibility for the hacks, asserted that there woul be consequences were Sony to release the film as planned:

“We will clearly show it 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. Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear.

Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.) Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment. All the world will denounce the SONY.”

Sony, fearing the group's threats, quickly scrapped plans to release the film. Soon after Guardians of Peace’s statement was released, the U.S. Governmental officials accused North Korea of being responsible for the Sony hacks. President Obama made clear that he felt as if Sony had “made a mistake” in its initial decision.

“We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States,” he said.  “I think it says something interesting about North Korea that they decided to have the state mount an all-out assault on a movie studio because of a satirical movie starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. The notion that that was a threat to them, I think, gives you some sense of the kind of regime we’re talking about here.”

The President went on to promise that the U.S. would provide a “proportional response” to North Korea’s “cyber-vandalism.” Coincidentally, North Korea’s entire internet was brought to its knees yesterday for about nine hours. Imagine that.


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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