After a terrorist threat, weeks of leaked corporate and private information leaks and more than half of American theaters deciding they would not screen the movie, it's official: Sony will not release "The Interview."
In a statement from Sony posted by Deadline, the company said the film would not be coming to theaters on Christmas.
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. 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. 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.
"The Interview" has been at the center of controversy for weeks: a hacker group calling themselves the Guardians of Peace released massive amounts of information from Sony's employees, including personal info, corporate communications and projects in varying stages of development. Some have linked the group to North Korea, and messages from the group, including the threat of terrorism yesterday, have pegged the release of "The Interview" as the motive behind recent events.
In the past two days, given the option by Sony to not screen the film, chains comprising more than half the screens in the U.S. elected not to. Sony canceled Thursday's planned New York City premiere of the film.
At the Los Angeles premiere of the film, "The Interview" star Seth Rogen, who also co-wrote and co-directed the film, thanked Sony co-chair Amy Pascal for "having the balls to make this movie."