Following threats from hackers responsible for large-scale server breaches and leaks at Sony, the entertainment studio has made the official decision to cancel The Interview, which was set to be released on Christmas Day.
In a prepared statement (below), the company said that it was “deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie” and “extremely disappointed by this outcome.”
Earlier today, the top five theater chains in North America (Regal, AMC, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas and Cineplex Entertainment) announced that they would not be showing the film. This comes on the heels of threats from the hackers, a group calling itself the Guardians Of Peace, who said that people who are at or around a showing of The Interview will “be shown how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to,” and referencing 9/11.
Given the severity of the threats and the withdrawal of major theaters from participation with the film, Sony has released a statement to cancel the film.
You can read the full statement here:
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 Interview has been a central piece of the wide-scale hacks that have exposed company data, emails, forthcoming projects and otherwise sensitive content. The hackers are dead set on stopping the movie, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, which depicts an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.