Video on demand companies are declining to show “The Interview” after movie theaters pulled the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy from its original Dec. 25 release, Sony CEO Michael Lynton said on Friday.
“There has not been one major VOD or one major ecommerce site that has said they are willing to step forward and distribute this movie,” Lynton told CNN, presumably referring to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.
Lynton struck a defiant tone while speaking to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria after President Barack Obama blasted his studio for pulling the film at the center of the devastating hacking attack.
“We have not caved, we have not given in, we have persevered, and we have not backed down. We have always had every desire to have the American public see this movie,” Lynton said.
“In this instance, the president, the press, and the public are mistaken on what actually happened,” he continued. “We do not own movie theaters, we can not determine whether or not a movie will be played in movie theaters.”
President Obama said in a pre-holiday press conference that Sony “made a mistake” in deciding to pull “The Interview” from theaters and also from any video on demand or other release, in the face of threats from North Korea. The comedy depicts the assassination of leader Kim Jong-un.
In his first public remarks since the Nov. 24 hack, Lynton said he still would like people to see the movie.
“There are a number of options open to us and we have considered those, and are considering them,” Lynton said about trying to release the film.
But he will need help from distributors willing to release it. “Again, we don’t have that direct interface with the American public so we need to go through an intermediary to do that.”