After announcing a decision to cancel the film, following controversy over its hacking scandal, Sony has back-peddled… releasing The Interview after all.
According to The Wrap, the studio plan to release the James Franco-Seth Rogen comedy on Christmas Day at select theaters and video on demand.
Some theaters previously refused to carry the film, but a number of independent theaters — including The Plaza Theater in Atlanta, MX Theaters in St. Louis, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Dallas/Fort Worth and others — have decided to distribute the film. The film will likely hit around 200 theaters.
“We have never given up on releasing The Interview and we’re excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day,” Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO of Sony Entertainment, said in a statement. “At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience.
“I want to thank our talent on The Interview and our employees, who have worked tirelessly through the many challenges we have all faced over the last month. While we hope this is only the first step of the film’s release, we are proud to make it available to the public and to have stood up to those who attempted to suppress free speech.”
Sony Pictures previously cancelled the release of The Interview, folding to pressure from hackers, who threatened a 9/11-style attack on any theater showing the movie.
The decision was unpopular among fans, actors and was even criticized by President Obama.
The Interview centers around a CIA-hatched plan to have a tabloid show host and producer, Dave Skylark (Franco) and Aaron Rapoport (Rogen), assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
North Korea is said to have been upset by Jong-um’s portrayal in the film and are believed to be behind the Sony studio hack.