The Interview has dominated headlines for weeks–even though it wasn’t scheduled to be released in theaters until Christmas Day–due to some very controversial subject matter, and now reports are coming in that after receiving several threats, Sony has made the decision to pull the film from release altogether.
After hackers gained access to Sony employees’ private emails and previously unseen material and then released it to the public, the company released a statement aimed at those responsible.
“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 statement read.
The film, which stars James Franco and Seth Rogen, centers around a man who is recruited to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un and has garnered a slew of negative attention in recent weeks, with the hackers threatening violence upon the theaters who choose to show the movie.
“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),” read a recent message.
Sony released a statement this week announcing that they would not be releasing the film–which cost about $42 million to produce–out of an abundance of caution.
“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.”
According to the AP, a U.S. official has reported that North Korea has been linked to the Sony hacks; however, that has not been confirmed.