On December 17th, Sony Pictures announced that they would not only cancel all advance/private screenings of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s The Interview, they have completely pulled the plug and will no longer release the film in theaters on Christmas day. In fact, the studio has no further release plans for the film at all.
As you may already know, all of this is in response to cyber attacks on Sony Pictures which resulted in a leak of countless private emails. The hackers, known only as “Guardians of the Peace,” then threatened to perform an “11th of September”-style attack on all movie theaters showing the film which portrays the assassination of North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-Un.
As a result, the nation’s five biggest theater chains (Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Cineplex Entertainment and Carmike Cinemas) all decided to cancel showings of The Interview. Sony Pictures then cancelled the film entirely. Despite our efforts to support talented Asian American actors, even our very own screening of The Interview was cancelled.
Sony released a statement on Wednesday:
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.
Some support this decision and claim that safety must come first. Others shake their heads in disappointment over Sony’s decision and point out that this cowardice gives hackers even more power to control. Many Hollywood celebs have put in their two cents and it is clear that this news does not sit well with them.