Following an online threat from a group calling itself Guardians of Peace (GOP) several cities have decided not to show the upcoming film “The Interview.”
UPDATE 5:15 EST: AP has tweeted that Sony Pictures cancelled the release of the film.
BREAKING: Sony Pictures cancels Dec. 25 release of 'The Interview'
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 17, 2014
UPDATE: AMC and Regal theaters announced as of 3:00 PM Wednesday that their theaters will not be showing “The Interview.” AMC and Regal are the two largest theater chains in the nation.
The film follows two men played by Seth Rogen and James Franco as they are recruited to assassinate Kim Jong-Un. The film has caused controversy in America and North Korea. The Executive Director of CFKAP (Center for Korean-American Peace) Kim Myong-chol told the Daily Telegraph, “A film about the assassination of a foreign leader mirrors what the US has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine. And let us not forget who killed Kennedy – Americans. In fact, President Obama should be careful in case the US military wants to kill him as well.”
The GOP have claimed responsibility for recently leaked emails that were hacked from Sony Entertainment. The online threat came with the release of another set of documents hacked from Sony. The full message reads:
We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.
Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.
The world will be full of fear.
Remember the 11th of September 2001.
We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.
(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)
Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
All the world will denounce the SONY.
The threat lead to Carmike Cinemas to remove the film from its 238 theaters spread across 41 states. Deadline reports that California’s ArcLight Cinemas is also considering not showing the film in its five theaters. Theaters in Cincinnati, Detroit Austin, and Baltimore have also cancelled screenings of the film.
The premiere of the film at Landmark Cinemas in New York City was cancelled as well. This week the stars of the film announced they would not continue their promotional tour. The National Association of Theatre Owners released a statement notifying its member that “Individual cinema operators may decide to delay exhibition of the movie” if they choose.
Time reports that the hacks had been linked to North Korea. North Korea, however, denied having anything to do with the hack or the threats. The Department of Homeland Security commented on the situation, stating there was no “credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theaters within the United States.”