Sony Pictures cancels ‘The Interview’ release following hacker threats


Following threats by Guardians of Peace, the group that hacked Sony Pictures, the entertainment studio has now decided to cancel The Interview. The company has not provided a future date for release.

The Interview, which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, depicts an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and has been the central focus of a number of hacks which have exposed company data including emails, deals, and leaked Sony movies.

Sony has released a statement announcing the cancellation, citing in it amongst other things that it was it was terribly disappointed by the outcome and “deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie”.

“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 said.

Sony’s decision to cancel screenings came after hackers threatened to attack any cinemas showing the film. Guardians Of Peace, said that people who are at or around a showing of The Interview would “be shown how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to,” and also referenced 9/11.

Read more: Hackers demand Sony cancels movie about North Korean president

Five top theater chains in North America (Regal, AMC, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas and Cineplex Entertainment) announced that they would not be showing the film and this prompted Sony to cancel the release.

The company also expressed its feelings about the hack.

“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”.

For the company, the cancellation of the movie also has financial implications. It will take some exceptional leadership and imaginative strategy for Sony Pictures to bounce back from the hack. The tiny positive from all of this and this is true from history is that The Interview will be the movie everyone wants to see.



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