Sony has just announced that it is cancelling the December 25 premiere of The Interview amid pressure from hackers and following the four top theater chains in the US backing out from showing the movie.
The full statement by the company reads:
“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.”
There’s no word on whether Sony intends to release the movie at a later date or through a medium other than theaters.
The ordeal started with the hacks on Sony pictures perpetuated on November 25. Since then, Sony has seen several unreleased movies leaked, confidential documents shared. North Korea has publicly denied involvement, and the FBI has yet to find evidence to blame the country as of its most recent statement.
Update 12/17/14: NBC reports that US officials have named North Korea as the source behind the Sony hacks.
For more details on the entire crazy saga, check out our timeline of related events.
According to the LA Times’ entertainment business reporter, Sony has no further plans to release the movie.
Sony spox: "Sony Pictures has no further release plans for the film." No VOD, no nothing.
— Ryan Faughnder (@RFaughnder) December 18, 2014