Steve Carell's North Korea Thriller Dropped After Sony Hack
Gore Verbinski was attached to direct
In the wake of the cyberattack on Sony in retaliation for their North Korea assassination comedy The Interview, New Regency has dropped plans for its own North Korea-set film, sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter.
Gore Verbinski was attached to direct and Steve Carell was set to star in Pyongyang, a thriller based on a Guy Delisle graphic novel that centers on a Westerner in North Korea who is accused of espionage. The film had been slated to start shooting in March, sources say, but the project was killed after hackers launched an aggressive and financially devastating attack on Sony because of The Interview, which centers on an assassination attempt on North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un.
Steve Conrad was working on the script for Pyongyang, which was one project of many that Verbinski was involved with via the production deal between his company Blind Wink and New Regency.
On Tuesday, new threats from the hacker group that has leaked thousands of confidential Sony documents and emails warned that people would be in danger if they went to theaters to see The Interview. Sony left it up to theaters to decide if they would show the film and, on Wednesday, the nation's largest theater chains opted out, prompting the studio to officially cancel the release.
For the past two weeks, the hacker group, calling themselves Guardians of Peace, has released thousands of private emails (many of them belonging to Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton) and other confidential information like Social Security numbers and financial information for actors.