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Sony Says “No Further Release Plans” for ‘The Interview,’ Steve Carell’s ‘Pyongyang’ Canceled In Wake Of North Korea Hacks

Sony Says "No Further Release Plans" for 'The Interview,' Steve Carell's 'Pyongyang' Canceled In Wake Of North Korea Hacks

“I think every business has the right to do whatever they want, but when — en masse — all of these businesses decide not to present a movie, they’re basically setting themselves up for other people to threaten them. What do they do when someone says the same thing about the James Bond movie or ‘Annie‘?” Judd Apatow told The LA Times, in response to Sony‘s decision to pull the release of Seth Rogen and James Franco‘s “The Interview.” “There may be credible evidence of imminent violence that I don’t know about. But if they don’t really have that information, how many movies are they willing not to release? Our community is based on freedom of expression. Are we going to suppress ourselves every time someone posts something online? It’s a dark future.”

It’s a sentiment that many have been sharing following Sony’s shocking news, but for now, the studio is holding fast to their choice to keep “The Interview” under lock and key. The movie has been removed from their website, and while some have suggested a VOD release to counter movie chains deciding not to show the film (which led to Sony pulling the film, along with the U.S. naming North Korea as the source of the massive hack on the studio), that won’t happen either. “Sony Pictures has no further release plans for the film,” a spokesperson from the studio said (via Variety). So for now, the R-rated comedy will sit in a vault somewhere, until….North Korea is no longer a threat? Sony deems it right to release the movie? Or maybe they’ll just eat the loss and keep it hidden away forever.

It’s an outcome that sets uncomfortable precedents, as Apatow suggests. The ramifications are being felt around Hollywood, who are suddenly becoming cautious with North Korea-based projects. The Wrap reports that New Regency has scuttled Gore Verbinski‘s “Pyongyang,” which had Steve Carell attached to star, and a spring shoot lined up. Based on the graphic novel by Guy Deslisle, it tells about his travels in North Korea, made possible by a work visa obtained for his gig working on a children’s cartoon show. In an email to Deadline, Verbinski shares his disappointment at his movie being shuttered, while Carell made his feelings quite clear with two tweets:

Getting the facts straight:
Yesterday, I was told by New Regency and Fox that Fox will no longer be distributing the film. Prior to that, the film was green lit and fully funded by New Regency with Fox distributing. I have been told in no uncertain words that based on the situation at Sony, Fox has now decided to not distribute the film. Without a distributor, New Regency was forced to shut the film down.
My thoughts:
I find it ironic that fear is eliminating the possibility to tell stories that depict our ability to overcome fear.
Gore Verbinski

But, it’s not all grim and sad news. The Alamo Drafthouse in Dallas, unable to show “The Interview,” have somewhat brilliantly decided to show “Team America: World Police” instead this Saturday night:  

But the questions around “The Interview” remain: Is this the new line drawn in the sand? Or an extraordinary response to an extraordinary situation? Share your thoughts below.

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