the north face nuptse jacket ‘The Interview’ to screen on Christmas Day
theaters as of Christmas Day, reversing its decision to pull the film, after coming under criticism from President Barack Obama and others for caving into pressure from North Korea.
The White House praised Sony’s about face, which the studio said would result in “a limited theatrical release” of the film, which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco and is about a fictional plot to assassinate North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.
“The decision made by Sony and participating theaters allows people to make their own choices about the film, and we welcome that outcome,” presidential spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement.
It was another surprising twist in a saga that started four weeks ago, when a massive cyberattack now blamed on North Korea crippled the Hollywood studio. The hacking has grown into a geopolitical headache and a global symbol of attacks on free expression.
On Friday, Obama had called Sony’s decision to pull the $44 million movie a mistake, suggesting it could set a precedent in which “some dictator some place can start imposing censorship here in the United States.”
Congressional Republicans and Democrats, as well as Hollywood luminaries such as George Clooney, had also assailed the canceled release, with some accusing the studio of self censorship.
Franco and Rogen, who also co directed the film, broke their silence after Sony made the announcement. theater chains pulled because of threats from hackers who warned of a September 11, 2001 style of attack. Tickets sold out for many of the screenings within minutes of being offered online.
Most of the 200 or so theaters are believed to be independent exhibitors and some said they would take some extra security precautions for the first screenings. The major movie chains that had bowed out last week, such as AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas, had not yet addressed the reversal.
“I think everybody has been doing a certain amount of this on the fly,
” said Jan Klingelhofer, a film buyer from Oakland, California, who got the movie into at least two theaters.
Legal experts said theater owners, not Sony, would bear the brunt of legal liability in the event of violence at the shows.
In one case that has similar themes, victims of the 2012 mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, brought a case against the theater owner Cinemark USA. In August, the judge overseeing the case refused to dismiss the lawsuit and allowed it to move forward.
Even so, Eugene Volokh, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, said movie theaters would have “a pretty strong defense” in such a case because, although there is a general threat concerning “The Interview,” it is not specific or foreseeable.
Theater owners and film buyers told Reuters that Sony shared its plans to have the movie play on video on demand (VOD) beginning on Dec. 25. Sony has not confirmed the VOD plan. cable or satellite operator has plans to offer the film to their subscribers. agencies would issue any additional warnings of possible attacks on exhibitors.
South Korea, which remains technically at war with North Korea, said meanwhile it could not rule out involvement by its neighbor in a cyberattack on its nuclear power plant operator involving non critical data.