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THE INTERVIEW: Sony Officially Cancels Theatrical, Home, & VOD Release

James Franco Randall Park The Interview

Sony Pictures has Officially canceled the release of The Interview. In the wake of an unprecedented cyber attack on their company, the threat of movie theaters being bombed (e.g. “remember the 11th of September 2001″), and multiple movie theaters chains pulling the film from their upcoming roster, Sony Pictures Entertainment has made the decision to pull the film from its theatrical release. There are also no plans in the foreseeable future to release the film on any home format or on VOD. From a Sony Pictures spokesperson: “Sony Pictures has no further release plans for the film.”

The officially press release from Sony Pictures on their decision:

“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 national movie theater chains putting customer safety above profits was to be expected. Imagine for a moment if they obstinately decided to show the film and a bomb went off. The theater chain would be legally liable and anybody hurt would have sued them (movie theaters aren’t in the habit of having moviegoers sign legal waivers before they see a film). The families of those killed would have sued them. Sony Pictures is already under suit from ex-employees because of Sony Pictures’ apparent lack of security around their employee files and vital data.

Some believe the United States Justice Department will name North Korean leaders as the masterminds behind Sony Pictures Entertainment cyber attack. This announcement is expected but has not been officially made yet. Up until now, a group calling themselves the Guardians of Peace has taken full responsibility for the attack on Sony Pictures. Some U.S. officials believe otherwise:

U.S. Rep Ed Royce (R-Calif), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said this afternoon on CNN that he’s been told the attack had been undertaken “at the behest of a foreign government.” Royce said that North Korea has built up a substantial cyber warfare capability centered in the unit called Bureau 121.

Whoever is behind the attack, the U.S. government will be investigating the matter seriously. United States President Barak Obama had this to say on the subject:

The cyber attack (against Sony) is very serious. We’re investigating it, we’re taking it seriously.

The fate of The Interview and whether anyone outside of Sony Pictures Entertainment will every see the film is in doubt. Whether or not anyone with every be brought to justice or held-to-account for the cyber attack is currently on-going.

One thing is certain, Hollywood has taken notice.

New Regency has scrapped another project that was to be set in North Korea. The untitled thriller, set up in October, was being developed by director Gore Verbinski as a star vehicle for Foxcatcher star Steve Carell.

Others in Hollywood are taking a different route and are speaking out against capitulation to terrorists. Lauded screenwriter Aaron Sorkin released this statement yesterday:

Today the U.S. succumbed to an unprecedented attack on our most cherished, bedrock principle of free speech by a group of North Korean terrorists who threatened to kill moviegoers in order to stop the release of a movie. The wishes of the terrorists were fulfilled in part by easily distracted members of the American press who chose gossip and schadenfreude-fueled reporting over a story with immeasurable consequences for the public–a story that was developing right in front of their eyes. My deepest sympathies go out to Sony Pictures, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and everyone who worked on The Interview.

Director Judd Apatow, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, and actor Steve Carrell weighed in on the pulling of The Interview as well:

The last person to chime in on The Interview being pulled is you. What are your thoughts on it?

Leave your thoughts on The Interview being pulled from a theatrical release below in the comments section. For more The Interview news, images, and videos, visit our The Interview Page, visit our Movie News Page, our Movie News Google+ Page, our Movie News Facebook Page, and consider subscribing to us by Email, “follow” us on Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, or “like” us on Facebook for quick updates.

Source: Deadline


About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created and Trending

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