back to article NY premiere of The Interview cancelled after hackers' terrorist threats

The New York premiere of Sony Pictures’ movie about a fictional assassination attempt on Kim Jong-Un has been cancelled in the wake of hacker threats invoking 9/11. The Interview was due to debut on Thursday at Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema in Manhattan, but a spokesperson confirmed to Variety that the screening was off late on …

  1. Amorous Cowherder
    Unhappy

    Looks like the terrorists are winning again

    They simply needed to install a sense of fear and their work is done. Every time we run and hide, they win another psychological battle and our own government confirms that we are docile and easily swayed by rumours and idle threats.

    The thought I have about all this, what about Team America? That film took the piss out of the NORK lad's Dad and no one got so upitty about that.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Looks like the terrorists are winning again

      Team America was:

      1. On the previous NORK dictator watch. The current one is considerably more insane and militant.

      2. Long before the South Korean Banks and national ID incidents and other fairly obvious cases of information warfare.

      1. dan1980

        Re: Looks like the terrorists are winning again

        @Voland's right hand

        "The current one is considerably more insane and militant."

        I'm not necessarily sure of that. I suspect that the hard(er)-liners and military men have more sway now with this younger leader and so may be pushing more direct and belligerent action. Or, he could be doing it of his own accord in order to prove his strength and resolve to those same hard-liners. Not much difference between the two really, I suppose.

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      Actually...

      I think the studio that made the film win this one -- how much free press is this generating? And there'll be plenty of people who go to see it to "stand up for freedom". Pass the popcorn....

      1. AIBailey Silver badge

        Re: Actually...

        You might be right (Streisand effect and all that), however Sony are obviously concerned about the threats enough to allow cinemas to pull the preview.

        Here's hoping that this doesn't (further) neuter creativity within the mainstream movie industry for fear of reprisal from someone somewhere who might get offended.

        1. Mike Flugennock
          Pirate

          Re: Actually...

          "Here's hoping that this doesn't (further) neuter creativity within the mainstream movie industry for fear of reprisal from someone somewhere who might get offended..."

          Creativity within the mainstream movie industry has already been neutered for at least thirty years. You need to get out more.

        2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Actually...

          Here's hoping that this doesn't (further) neuter creativity within the mainstream movie industry

          What creativity are you talking about? Creativity is a dirty word in a world where a director team which is known to be creative (Andy and Lana Wachowski) is being publically chastized that they have done something original instead of going with an existing franchise - it was all over the tweeter feed when they released the trailer for Jupiter Ascending.

          By the way - cheezy or not when it comes out in February I will be going to see it out of principle - because it is original and not a piece of regurgitated Marvel vomit. I will probably get the Interview on Lovefilm out of principle too. Anything else aside, the right of parody, humour and free speech should be supported.

        3. Daniel B.

          Re: Actually...

          Here's hoping that this doesn't (further) neuter creativity within the mainstream movie industry for fear of reprisal from someone somewhere who might get offended.

          Too late. Mainstream Hollywood has already lost its balls, just see what happened to the Red Dawn remake. They changed the bad guys to the NORKS even though it makes far more sense to have the Chinese as the bad guys.

          Then there's World War Z which also omits the virus' origin which is China.

          And now most blockbuster movies will be either gratuitously set in China ("Karate Kid" remake) or needlessly have some part of the movie take place there (the last Transformers movie, Skyfall, Iron Man 3). It's getting really stupid.

      2. Ralph B

        Re: Actually...

        > I think the studio that made the film win this one

        I thought the same. But if the film also gets cancelled from theatrical release, then it'll be a big loss for the studio. (Unless they have insurance for that sort of thing ... ? (It's been a while since I watched The Producers.))

        1. GBE

          Re: Actually...

          > I think the studio that made the film win this one

          >> I thought the same. But if the film also gets cancelled from theatrical release, then it'll be a big loss for the studio.

          The release won't get cancelled -- only a single premier got cancelled. That's probably a net gain considering nobody actually _pays_ for tickets to premiers and Sony can probably get some of the money back on the catering.

          I'm pretty sure this is going to be a huge win for Sony.

          If I were more cynical I'd credit Sony's marketing people with a lot of the rumors and threats that came out after the data dump. I don't think I'd go so far as to credit them with the data dump itself.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: Actually...

            A large theater chain that has a few around where I live cancelled it on all 247 screens nationwide. I wouldn't be surprised if most of the rest follow. The vast majority of Americans are scared sheep[*]. If this happened in a country where people were brave they'd defy the "terrorists" by going out to see the movie just to show them they weren't scared. Maybe this movie needs to be released in Israel or Iraq or somewhere where people are used to terrorism on a daily basis and don't let it rule their lives.

            I don't normally see movies in the theater any more, since the experience gets more annoying every year, but I was thinking I'd go with my girlfriend to see this over the holidays when I heard that ridiculous threat. But now there 1) probably won't be anywhere we can see it and 2) all the publicity about theaters stopping the showings would make her mom crazy with worry (we'll be at her parents) if she finds out.

            [*] Just so you know before you flame me, I'm an American, not a foreigner and I don't hate my country. But the response to 9/11 showed quite well what cowards we collectively are. OK, I've said my piece, flame away!

            1. Mike Flugennock
              Mushroom

              Re: Actually...

              Oh, yeah, Israel's used to terrorism, alright. They've been doing it since 1948.

          2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

            Re: Actually...

            @GBE

            Except its no longer just the premiere - http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/sony-hackers-terror-threat-prompts-movie-chain-to-pass-on-the-interview/

            El Reg, I'm dissapointed, it was on BBC news and still no sign here

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Actually...

        That seems a lot more likely. Which gets them more publicity for the movie? A premiere might get a few column inches (unless some actress slips out of her top "accidently"), or the mass coverage of cancelling it due to a supposed threat, and the subsequent extra box office receipts of people refusing to "give in to terrorists" by going to see it?

    3. NoneSuch

      Re: Looks like the terrorists are winning again

      Having seen a few clips on chat shows with the various stars of the film I suspect this would not have been a hit without this kafuffle. Now 'Mercians will go see it to fight the terrarists which will make Sony a packet.

      Let's hope they invest a few shillings of that into a decent infrastructure.

    4. g e

      So presumably

      The gopsters just uprated themselves from 'Corporate nuisance' to 'Terrorists' meaning they now have a whole new TLA department interested in them in the good ole US of A

      Perhaps that thinking wasn't quite as clear as it could have been (or they trust their anonymiser way too much)

    5. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Looks like the terrorists are winning again

      There's an easy solution - all Sony needs to do is:

      A. Cut your losses and release the movie on the Internet at no charge for anyone to watch.

      B. Attach copies of the DVD to balloons and float them into the North Korea.

      C. Offer a years supply of porn to anyone on 4chan who can hack any website that carries North Korean content and host the movie there.

      Always take the fight to the enemy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: release it gratis

        "A. Cut your losses and release the movie on the Internet at no charge for anyone to watch."

        Taking it a step further, Sony could release all copyright claims to the film and allow all to distribute it freely. Then the non-Hollywood creatives could have a field day recutting it to make their points. Releasing it freely could earn Sony some small measure of goodwill and make it unstoppable by GOP. Excellent idea!

        1. new666uk

          Re: release it gratis

          Exactly what I was thinking. Stick a big 'screw you' middle finger up at NORK, earn brownie points with the hack / pirate community and keep your audience safe from dumb-ass attacks from hissy fit dictator drones.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Looks like the terrorists are winning again

        Alternately, just release it via Netflix or the like. I think any credible threat from the GOP would be thwarted since it would take one helluva a lot of GOP types to take out every home that views it. Still... I suspect it's just fluff talk and people go see it or get it via Netflix just because of the publicity around this. As they say in Hollywood: "There's no such thing as bad publicity.".

    6. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Amorous Cowherder Re: Looks like the terrorists are winning again

      ".......Team America......" Ah, worth paying to see just for the bit when Micheal Moore blew up! TBH, I was pretty "meh" on The Interview, I would have waited for it to come out on Netflix, but I'll go see it at the cinema now just to see what Kim Junior is getting his knickers in a twist over (might even buy some hideously-overpriced popcorn). I will pay in cash though, given that the cinema chains probably have security that would make Sony's look good!

  2. Stuart 22

    Digging their own graves ...

    If the Sony/MPAA had been more pro-active in promoting volume downloads rather than screwing end users with arbitrary 'regional' rules and legislator bribed extensions of copyright - then the industry might have moved with the technology and user demand and now be almost an entirely online business and a have a little more sympathy.

    The downside would be fewer cinemas to go and have a dark snog but you always have the living room couch ;-)

    Then instead of losing revenue and just possibly endangering life from GOP inspired nutters Sony would be benefiting from the most publicised movie release ever without spending a penny on advertising. Indeed some of us might feel a duty to get a legal copy just to spite the hackers and/or the NORKS.

    1. Mike Flugennock

      Re: Digging their own graves ...

      Hell, I can't even remember the last time I went to an actual movie theater to see a film. I think it was this one art-house cinema/brew pub downtown, to see some indie film three or four years ago.

      Last film I saw was Truffaut's The Bride Wore Black, which the DW and I hadn't seen in a while, on Netflix. Yeah, that's right, Truffaut on Netflix -- but you wouldn't believe all the crap we had to sift through to find it. It's like going through the rack at Blockbuster (back in the day), plowing through endless piles of straight-to-VHS crap trying to find that one old Truffaut picture I wanted to see again.

      If you ask me, I might feel a duty to score a leaked copy of The Interview as a "fuck you" to Sony. Honestly, I can't pretend I'm not enjoying this.

  3. tmTM

    Who needs a movie theatre??

    The story un-folding in the press is far more entertaining than most crap rolled out of Hollywood today.

    1. Bleu

      Re: Who needs a movie theatre??

      It is pretty funny. I used to enjoy a monthly called Hacker Japan, seems to have folded. They had a regular column on 'cyber North Korea'.

      Nice to see they really can stage such an attack.

      Is it coincidence that their initials are also those of the US Republicans (grand ole party and all)?

    2. Sir Sham Cad

      Re: story un-folding in the press

      And the story unfolding in the media has a hell of a lot less Seth Rogen in it which automatically makes it better.

      1. Mike Flugennock

        Re: story un-folding in the press

        "And the story unfolding in the media has a hell of a lot less Seth Rogen in it which automatically makes it better."

        I think Seth Rogen is going to be the next generation's Adam Sandler.

  4. James Hughes 1

    Ambitious move from the hackers. Going from data theft to a gitmo 12 years without trial threat.

  5. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Fight the war against terror!

    By shooting yourself repeatedly in the foot.

    1. Bloakey1

      Re: Fight the war against terror!

      "By shooting yourself repeatedly in the foot."

      Well it worked for the Americans, Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan. The Middle East is at peace, Africa is the quietest it has ever been and all is right with the world.

      It is interesting though, North Korea's top man is just coming out of 3 years of mourning. Perhaps he will now take the gloves off and get stuck in, he is certainly loony enough to do so.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Fight the war against terror!

        Point went over your head pal. If you have a "terrorist threat" against an event, and as a response you cancel the event as it "may be unsafe", you're not "fighting terror", but publicising it.

        The only way to fight terror is to completely ignore it and go about your life as if it does not exist.

        1. Lamb0
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Fight the war against terror!

          Pity they cancelled it - in my part of they country... NONE of the theaters in my area have the "No CCW Permitted" signs, the emergency exits are alarmed, and lock properly. All those pretty red targeting lasers would have illuminated a shouting, noisy wacko quite nicely; (*cough* ...and if he's foolishly gun-waving enough to present a clear target... *cough*).

          Not even much shortage of armed women and Pastors around here so you never know who's packin'; the intoxicated rednecks can't get a permit - and the lawfully armed public can wait till home for a touch of the barley corn.

          Too bad if the ticket and concessions registers crash, though. Ca$h for the tickets but free popcorn for everybody! ;<)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Fight the war against terror!

            Yeah, just what you need, terrorist paranoia combined with a dark theater full of hicks with guns. No potential for innocent men, women and children to be mistakenly shot dead there.

      2. Mike Flugennock

        Re: Fight the war against terror!

        Funny how the Americans and Brits characterize guys like Kim Jong-Un as "loonies".

        Ever watch your own "leaders" popping off on TV? We've got no room to talk. From what I can see, the "leadership" of the US and UK are the goddamn' Olympic gold medalists in "loony".

  6. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    I am fairly confident

    That no terrorist would be able to control a hijacked plane well enough to hit a specific cinema in Manhattan. I think that Sunshine Cinema will be the safest place to be in NYC if they go ahead with the screening. The rest of the Big Apple should better be evacuated though...

    1. Terry Cloth
      Stop

      I am fairly confident there will be no more hijackings

      Now that the public knows what's in store for any hijacked airplane, the passengers will tear any wannabe hijackers to shreds before they get to the front of the plane. (Ref. Flight 93.)

  7. Mike Flugennock

    And, besides...

    It's James Franco and Seth Rogen, f'crissakes, so who cares?

    ...and nothing of value was lost.

  8. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    The NYT, a frank necon propeller (not to mention Krugman conduit) says...

    If the NYT calls someone "morally treasonous and spectacularly dishonourable” that means another false flag operation is probably in progress and dead people could soon hit the front page under large banner texts.

    Might become an interesting X-Mas, indeed.

    "HO! HO! HO! Now I have a pretext"

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Destroyed All Braincells Re: The NYT, a frank necon propeller.....

      I see you started early on the eggnog.

    2. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Re: The NYT, a frank necon propeller (not to mention Krugman conduit) says...

      Aaron Sorkin called someone that. NY Times reporters and editorial staff did not. But then I suppose he used the same spot, the Op Ed page, that Krugman uses, which must be evidence of something.

  9. Lamont Cranston

    Down with this sort of thing.

    ^ correct way to protest

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: Down with this sort of thing.

      Careful now.....

  10. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Also are instilled fear of terrible grammar to be. Death to English!

    Hmm, I wonder what social phenomena Seth Rogen will spear in his next movie ...

  11. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Happy

    Sony's next film

    Kim Jong Un risks all to save a sack full of kittens that have been thrown down a mine-shaft by an evil capitalist.

  12. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    GOP?

    The Republican Party is out to get Hollywood? Usually I thought it sent committees with subpoenas.

  13. Frankee Llonnygog

    I am torrenting this movie

    In the name of Freedom!

    Say no to DPRK Takedowns!

  14. mad_dr

    Latest news is that it's been cancelled altogether... They won...

    1. Mike Flugennock
      Thumb Up

      "THEY" won?

      "Latest news is that it's been cancelled altogether... They won..."

      "They" won, Sony lost.

      Sorry, but I see no downside.

  15. Mike Flugennock
    Pint

    Man, I sure envy those guys...

    ...as I've lost track of how many times I wished I could make shit movies disappear from theaters that quickly.

    Now, if only Adam Sandler would make a movie about North Korea...

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