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After canceling the Christmas Day release of The Interview, Sony has clarified that there is no further release plans, including a theatrical release at a later date or a VOD launch.
“Sony Pictures has no further release plans for the film,” Sony said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
Earlier in the day, Sony decided to pull The Interview from all theaters after the country’s major chains announced that they would not show the Seth Rogen comedy.
“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,” the studio said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.”
The studio added: “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.”
That statement prompted speculation that the studio might still consider launching the film, which takes comedic aim at the North Korean regime, in some kind of premium VOD release or a theatrical release at a later date outside of the busy Christmas frame. But the latest statement squashes any hope that the film will be seen anytime soon.
Earlier Wednesday, the country’s top five theater chains — Regal Entertainment, AMC Entertainment, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas and Cineplex Entertainment — chose to pull The Interview from their theaters following a threat from the hacker group dubbed Guardians of Peace that promised a 9/11-style attack if the film was released and that theatergoers would be at risk.
If the studio had decided to move forward with a VOD release in an effort to recoup the film’s $44 million budget, the leaking of Sony documents and threats of violence may have continued. On Wednesday afternoon, several news outlets reported that the U.S. government was poised to name North Korea as the culprit behind the devastating cyberattack.
Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who co-directed the film together, have not commented on the latest developments.
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