“The Interview” release downed by terror and hack threats

BY ALEXANDRA KEZEK

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Filmmakers Trey Stone and Matt Parker did not face terrorist threats for their uncomplimentary depiction of late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il in their 2004 film Team America: World Police [shown above]. Sony has been less fortunate in 2014 when dealing with Il’s son Un.
Sony Pictures decided to cancel the premiere of the new film “The Interview” after a hacker group threatened terror attacks on moviegoers and numerous chains began dropping out of distribution. The film, starring James Frano and Seth Rogen, is a comedic story about an assassination attempt on North Korean Premiere Kim Jong-Un.

The hackers, represented by a group calling itself the Guardians of Peace possibly connected to the North Korean government (though the NK government denies it), warned moviegoers to distance themselves from the film and alluded to the September 11 terror attacks in warnings.

In response, Sony Pictures announced it would cancel the premiere at the Sunshine Cinema on East Houston Street and would not object to other theaters’ decisions not to screen the film. Cinema chains such as Bow Tie Cinemas, which has a branch in New City, ArcLight Cinemas in California, and Carmike Cinemas have removed “The Interview” from their lineups, Carmike being the first. Landmark cinema chain, who was to host the New York premiere, has cancelled as well.

The hackers call themselves the Guardians of Peace and aside from threatening United States cinemas who show the film they have been releasing personal data and emails from Sony. The group stated, “Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear.”

The Department of Homeland Security will continue looking further into the messages from the hackers. Seth Rogen and James Franco have cancelled press appearances due to the threats. Rogen who co-wrote the movie stated on “Good Morning America,” that the movie was meant to be funny, entertaining, and silly, it was not meant to be controversial.

“The Interview” is an action comedy film that includes a journalist and producer (Franco and Rogen). They land an interview with Kim Jong-Un (played by Randall Park) and are further instructed by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong-Un.

Sony has announced no plans for a future release of the film.