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.