Sony may release the Interview on-demand

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 22 December 2014

Despite initially saying that there are no further plans for releasing the $42 million film the Interview in any format, even when it comes to DVDs and cable video-on-demand access, Sony Pictures now says that it's "actively surveying alternatives to enable us to release the movie on a different platform."

"It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so," the firm said in a statement. The studio had shelved the film indefinitely , after Regal, AMC and all other theatre chains in the US decided to boycott it, citing terrorism concerns.

Sony is at the middle of a massive data breach, after a cyber-attack forced the IT department to shut down the corporate network. The attackers call themselves the Guardians of Peace, and it's believed that North Korea is behind the incident, in retaliation for the release of the Interview. The film features Rogan and Franco as hapless journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Pyongyang has called the film "an act of war."

The move to pull the film prompted President Obama to publicly say that studio "made a mistake," noting the decision's ramifications for artistic freedom and censorship.

"We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship in the United States," he said.

The chilling effect has already been felt. In place of the Interview, some independent theatres were planning screenings of Team America: World Police, which spoofs now-deceased "Dear Leader" Kim Jong II, but Paramount pulled the film from library distribution to prevent public screenings. In addition, as further evidence of a chilling effect, New Regency has scuttled an untitled thriller from director Gore Verbinski and starring Steve Carell, which was due to start production in March. It was going to be set in North Korea.