Sony Pictures cancels the release of The Interview after new hacking threat
Sony Pictures has cancelled the release of controversial new comedy The Interview after a number of high-profile US cinema chains decided to not show the film.
The comedy stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as a television interviewer and producer who are invited to North Korea to conduct an interview with dictator Kim Jong-un, however, before they head off, they are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip to Pyongyang into an assassination mission.
Earlier this month, a cyber-terrorism group known as the Guardians Of Peace launched an unprecedented cyber attack on Sony, leaking thousands of documents, including future plans, financial records and forthcoming releases. Yesterday (December 17th), the group threatened similar action against a number of the USA's high-profile cinemas chains if it showed The Interview in its theatres.
After a number of chains said that they would not be showing the film, Sony have now pulled the film from release, with no new date or home entertainment release currently planned. It was due to be released in the UK in February.
The company said in a statement: "In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the 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."
They continued: "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."