Sony has decided to pull “The Interview” from its scheduled Dec. 25 release date following elevated threats from hackers.
“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,” the studio said in a statement to TheWrap on Wednesday. “We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.”
UPDATE: While speculation runs rampant about on when and how “The Interview” will ultimately be released, Sony “has no further release plans for the film” at the moment, according to a studio spokesperson.
The decision comes on the heels of the five largest theater chains in North America announcing decisions to postpone or cancel showings of the controversial Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy that has drawn the ire of North Korea and which is rumored to be the reason hackers attacked Sony.
The hackers leaked terabytes of the company’s computer data to media outlets and over file-sharing sites on the Internet, before escalating their threats against the company, promising 9/11-style attacks on any theaters that show “The Interview,” which portrays two bumbling journalists assigned by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong-un.
Read the full statement from Sony below:
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.
Regal, AMC and Cinemark are among the theater chains that have pulled the comedy from its scheduled Christmas Day release date after a message threatening attacks on theaters who show the film was posted online Tuesday.
Carmike dropped the movie on Tuesday night and Canada’s largest theater chain, Cineplex, has also pulled the film and removed showtime information previously listed on their website. In addition to those major chains, Landmark has cancelled its scheduled New York premiere of the film on Thursday.