It looks like Sony has folded to the pressure — first cancelling the New York City premiere of James Franco and Seth Rogen’s comedy, The Interview, followed by the film being cancelled altogether.
The news comes after the controversy surrounding a hack of Sony, which spilled personal emails, contacts and theatrical releases across the Internet. It also follows threats by hackers to carry out a 9/11-style attack on any theater showing the movie.
A Sony source told Deadline: “We’re leaving [the decision to pull the movie] up to the discretion of the theater owners and chains and we will support their decision.”
A handful of theaters chose to show The Interview, but Sony would follow with an official announcement to cancel the film… with no immediate plans to ever release it, including VOD as some speculated.
“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,” Sony said in a statement. “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,” the statement continued. “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.”