After deciding against releasing the Seth Rogen and James Franco-starring film The Interview due to threats of violence from a group of cyber criminals, the studio announced today that its had a change of heart, and that the film will be seeing a “limited” release this Thursday in select theaters.
In a statement to Variety, Sony Entertainment Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton expressed something that official statements from the studio haven’t expressed in awhile: apparent excitement. He said, “We have never given up on releasing The Interview and we’re excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day. At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience.” Seth Rogen also expressed his excitement for the film’s release on Twitter, telling his followers that “freedom has prevailed,” while also praising Sony for following through on the film’s originally planned release date.
Perhaps the most specific message surrounding the release of the film came from the Alamo Drafthouse, whose Dallas theater recently tried to respond to The Interview‘s delay by screening Paramount’s Team America: World Police in its place before that plan was stopped by Paramount itself. Tim League, Alamo Drafthouse’s CEO, said,
We cannot imagine the pressures that have been affecting Sony, at all levels of the organization they have been under attack. Amidst this unwarranted chaos, they have regrouped and listened to the public, the government and the exhibition community and responded with resolve and determination. At 10:45 AM Sony bookers approved screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and other arthouse and independent theaters across the country.
This is the best Christmas gift anyone could give us. We, both distributors and exhibitors, have collectively stood firm to our principles and for the right to freedom of expression.
Recently, some theater owners had expressed anger at Sony for the studio’s apparent “shifting of blame” to them for the initial cancellation of the film’s Christmas release in a recent circuit of interviews on major television talk shows. While Michael Lynton contacted several theater chains to express that responsibility was shared between the studio and the theaters for the film’s cancellation, it’ll be interesting to see which of those theater chains will now take up Sony’s new offer for the film to be screened on the originally planned release date.
The Interview will be released this coming Thursday, so be sure to check your local theaters for their own dates and showtimes. For more on this as it develops, keep an eye on GeekNation!
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