The fruits of liberty: You can spend your Christmas with Seth Rogan and James Franco.
WASHINGTON, December 24, 2014, 1:05 p.m. ET — Sony Pictures confirmed today that “The Interview” will not only be released to some theaters, but that it will be available online through YouTube Movies, Xbox Videos, Google Play, and a dedicated website, SeeTheInterview.com.
In an update, Sony announced that the film will be available at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, or five minutes ago.
It will not be available in Apple’s iTunes. It is not currently available on Netflix, but according to Variety, Netflix is in talks with Sony and may stream the movie later this week.
The Seth Rogan comedy was pulled after threats from the “Guardians of Peace,” the hackers who stole email and other data from Sony computers and then wiped them clean, to physically attack theaters that showed the film. This fueled suspicion that North Korea was responsible for the cyber attack.
Google tweeted, “Our mission is to make the world’s information accessible—yes, even Seth Rogen movies.”
Sony released the following statement on their plans to distribute “The Interview”:
“It has always been Sony’s intention to have a national platform on which to release this film. With that in mind, we reached out to Google, Microsoft and other partners last Wednesday, December 17th, when it became clear our initial release plans were not possible. We are pleased we can now join with our partners to offer the film nationwide today.
“We never stopped pursuing as wide a release as possible for ‘The Interview.’ It was essential for our studio to release this movie, especially given the assault upon our business and our employees by those who wanted to stop free speech. We chose the path of digital distribution first so as to reach as many people as possible on opening day, and we continue to seek other partners and platforms to further expand the release.
“I want to thank Google and Microsoft for helping make this a reality. This release represents our commitment to our filmmakers and free speech. While we couldn’t have predicted the road this movie traveled to get to this moment, I’m proud our fight was not for nothing and that cyber criminals were not able to silence us.
“No doubt the issues we have confronted these last few weeks will not end with this release, but we are gratified to have stood together and confident in our future. I want to thank everyone at Sony Pictures for their dedication and perseverance through what has been an extraordinary and difficult time.”
If North Korea was in fact behind the cyber attack on Sony, watching “The Interview” might afford a certain level of emotional satisfaction, but the signs are that the satisfaction won’t be artistic. Sony may have been sitting on an artistic and commercial bomb.
The heightened interest in the movie, which has been on or near front-page headlines for weeks, ensures a much more prominent place in film history for “The Headline” than it probably otherwise deserves, and may turn it into a commercial success. Were the collateral damage to Sony from the hacking not so severe, this could have been a brilliant marketing ploy.
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