Judd Apatow Isn’t Afraid of Sony Cyber Terrorists: ‘I Am Going to ‘The Interview’

Seth Rogen’s “Knocked Up” director thinks the terrorists’ “plan to suppress it will ultimately backfire,” because there is more public interest in the comedy than ever before

Judd Apatow will not be be scared off by the cyber terrorists threatening a 9/11-style attack on theaters showing Sony’s Christmas Day release “The Interview.”

“I am not going to let a terrorist threat shut down freedom of speech,” the writer, director and producer tweeted late Tuesday night. “I am going to ‘The Interview.'”

Apatow’s show of support for friends Seth Rogen, James Franco and co-director Evan Goldberg — all of whom owe their careers to the “Knocked Up” director and “Freaks and Geeks” executive producer — came after Rogen’s “Neighbors” co-star Ike Barinholtz tweeted a similar declaration.

Apatow may be right. Controversy has been known to boost box office receipts. Recent examples of the phenomenon include Darren Aronofsky‘s “Noah,” which was blasted by Christians ahead of the release for its edgy portrayal of the Old Testament tale that inspired it, and Martin Scorsese’s “Wolf of Wall Street” — an R-rated dark comedy many felt was celebrating bad behavior, instead of  condemning it.

Still, theaters are quickly dropping “The Interview” from their roster. On Tuesday alone, just hours after the hacker group Guardians of Peace threatened “merciless” retaliation, ArcLight Cinemas and Carmike made their decision to avoid placing their customers and employees in harms way.

Theater chains that have not yet responded to the threat include the country’s largest, Regal Entertainment Group, as well AMC Entertainment and Cinemark Theatres.