‘The Interview’ Begins Streaming
Against the wishes of Kim Jong-un, The Interview, the controversial comedy by Seth Rogen and James Franco, will be finally viewable to those desiring to see it. Starting today, the film can be streamed on YouTube, Google Play, the Microsoft Xbox video game console, and a special website set up by Sony, in association with Stripe and Kernel. It is available to rent for $5.99 and $14.99 to own. On Christmas Day, however, it will also be released on a limited number of screens (only 300) across the United States. While larger chains (such as AMC and Loews) opted not to carry it due to liability, many independently owned theaters have contacted Sony to run the film on its originally scheduled release.
Many had been critical of Sony and theater chains’ decision not to release the movie because of threats lodged by North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un since the movie largely parodies him (and eventually kills him via fireball). He threatened recourse, despite the fact he himself has released movies in the past depicting the nuclear annihilation of America, and may have led to the Sony hacks that have been reportedly largely on the site. While the hacker group Guardians of Peace have taken responsibility for the leaks, it is largely assumed that they were doing so with North Korea’s support. By caving to the demands of GoP/Kim Jong-un it was a win for terrorists against a country that purportedly would never negotiate or succumb to terror demands.
Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton released a statement today, “We never stopped pursuing as wide a release as possible for ‘The Interview,'” Lynton said in a statement on Wednesday. “It was essential for our studio to release this movie, especially given the assault upon our business and our employees by those who wanted to stop free speech.”
He added, “We chose the path of digital distribution first so as to reach as many people as possible on opening day, and we continue to seek other partners and platforms to further expand the release.”
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