The Sony hackers have threatened a 9/11-like attack on movie theaters that screen Seth Rogen and James Franco’s North Korean comedy “The Interview,” substantially escalating the stakes surrounding the release of the movie.
The attackers also released the promised “Christmas gift” of files. The contents of the files are unknown but it’s called “Michael Lynton,” who is the CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
“The world will be full of fear,” the message reads. “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.) Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment
Past messages have included budgets to Sony films, salary information of top executives, and employee medical records and social security numbers.
There have been suspicions that the attack may have been launched by North Korea in retaliation for “The Interview’s” depiction of an assassination attempt on Kim Jong-un. The country has denied involvement but praised the attacks.
A spokesman for the studio, an FBI spokesman and a spokesman for the National Association of Theatre Owners were not immediately available for comment.
Read the full message:
We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.
Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.
The world will be full of fear.
Remember the 11th of September 2001.
We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.
(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)
Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
All the world will denounce the SONY.
Stay connected to this story…..more to come
Audiences won’t get to see “The Interview” on Christmas Day — and maybe even ever. According to a spokesperson for Sony Pictures, the studio has “no further release plans” for the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy, making even on-demand or Blu-ray releases unlikely. Which is a shame for a number of reasons, including the fact that “The Interview” is really quite funny. Ahead, six things you’re missing by not seeing “The Interview.”
Breakout performances from Randall Park and Diana Bang
It may star Seth Rogen and James Franco, but “The Interview” puts actors Randall Park and Diana Bang at the forefront. Both deliver breakout performances that should have launched them to stardom. As Kim Jong Un, Park recalls Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds” mixed with that little kid from the “It’s A Good Life” episode of “The Twilight Zone.” Bang plays Kim’s right-hand to hilarious effect, and her chemistry with Rogen is palpable. She’s one of the best foils he’s ever had onscreen, right next to Rose Byrne in “Neighbors” (and Jay Baruchel in “This Is The End”).
James Franco’s most James Franco performance
What is the most James Franco? Is it Alien in “Spring Breakers”? Is it his Instagram account? Is it when he starred as “James Franco” in “This Is The End”? All good options, but maybe the most Franco is Dave Skylark. It’s possible Franco has never had more fun onscreen as Skylark, a preening moron who thinks he’s the greatest journalist ever. There’s a famous line in “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”: When the legend becomes fact, print the legend. Skylark is his own legend, and Franco crushes his megalomaniacal hubris.
A lot of “Lord of the Rings” references
James Franco calls Seth Rogen his Samwise. It’s adorable.
Further indication that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are two of our best comedy filmmakers
Let’s leave praise of Rogen and Goldberg as directors to Time Out New York critic David Ehrlich:
It isn’t just the most sophisticated and beautifully shot of Rogen’s star vehicles, it’s also the most giddily puerile. As funny as Neighbors and as demented as This Is the End, The Interview confirms Rogen as the most ambitious mainstream comedian in Hollywood. In the unlikely event that it proves to be Sony’s downfall, at least they’ll go out with a bang.
A final montage that includes “Wind of Change”
This music cue in “The Interview” would make Paul Thomas Anderson proud.
The ending, and simply excellent use of Katy Perry
Much has been made about the ending of “The Interview,” which — spoiler alert — uses a slowed-down version of Katy Perry’s “Firework” as accompaniment to Kim being killed by Skylark. But an earlier scene, when Skylark and Kim are riding in a tank (!) while the actual version of “Firework” plays, is a true 2014 highlight. (James Franco for the Michael Dukakis bio?) Later, during the interview to which the title refers, Skylark uses Perry’s lyrics to get Kim to break down and cry. Shoot across the sky-y-y, “The Interview,” wherever you are. You’ve earned it.
“The Interview” was supposed to come out on Dec. 25. It’s not now.