The embattled studio has cancelled the December 25 release of the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy in light of threats from the suspected cyber attackers behind a string of embarrassing revelations about its business dealings and correspondence.
A spokesperson for the studio said on Wednesday (December 17), “Sony Pictures has no further release plans for the film.” A query from Screendaily as to whether this also meant the end of the international release remained unanswered at time of writing.
Earlier on Wednesday Sony released the following statement announcing its decision to pull The Interview:
“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.”
The move comes after Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cineplex Entertainment and Cinemark joined Carmike Cinemas in boycotting the film following ambiguous threats from the suspected hackers on Tuesday.
Earlier in the day the National Association Of Theatre Owners weighed in for the first time, offering support for whatever its members in the exhibition community decided to do.
The cyber attacks appeared to stem from outrage by someone — exactly who remains unknown — over the subject matter of The Interview, in which a pair of celebrity interviewers become embroiled in an assassination plot aimed at North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
A scene in the film depicting the death of the leader sparked a flurry of correspondence between the film-makers, Studio Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal and Tokyo-based president and CEO of Sony Corporation Kazuo Hirai, who took the unprecedented step of intervening in an effort to tone down the scene
The hackers have threatened more unspecified events in the coming days.