Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then the words “Sony” and “hackers” have been in your timelines, homepages, cover shots and newsfeeds. The attackers have released oodles of confidential information about stars and the like and it’s just been very, very messy for the studio. And almost from the beginning, the hacks seem to have been about stopping people from seeing The Interview.
A little backstory: The Interview stars James Franco and Seth Rogen who play celebrity tabloid show host Dave Skylark and producer Aaron Rapoport. The two manage to land an exclusive sit-down with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, who just happens to be a fan. Before heading overseas to interview Jong-un, they are recruited by the CIA to assassinate him. This isn’t sitting well with North Koreans but the country has denied any involvement (though they did praise the hack attack).
The hackers, who call themselves “the Guardians of Peace”, are taking it 20 steps further and have threatened a 9/11-like attack on theatres that screen the movie. Good grief.
The group sent the following to journalists Tuesday:
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.
More to come…
And their message has been received, loud and clear. Franco and Rogen have pulled out of all media appearances. Sony Pictures has said they would not object if The Interview was pulled from theatres and several (including Canada’s Cineplex) have cancelled their showings. It should be noted, however, that a special screening of the film took place in Los Angeles last week without incident.
Now, this is a project that involves Franco. He is a champion of elaborate PR stunts but this is a whole other level of crazy that we know even James wouldn’t touch. Though all of this does fit with The Interview‘s premise, actual terrorism is clearly off-limits.
UPDATE: Sony will not be releasing “The Interview,” after all. According to Variety, a Sony spokesperson is quoted, saying “Sony Pictures has no further release plans for the film,” and so, we guess that’s that. Until the hackers release it online of course.
UPDATE (December 24, 2014): The Interview is back, slated to appear in more than 380 theatres in the United States on Christmas Day. There are currently no plans for a Canadian release, but stay tuned! Merry Christmas and happy holidays.