Netflix in Talks to Stream ‘The Interview’ as Starz Releases Pay TV Rights (EXCLUSIVE)

The Interview

YouTube, Google Play and Xbox will also offer the Sony comedy

Netflix is in talks with Sony Pictures to make “The Interview” available for streaming by its subscribers. If a deal comes together, the movie would not be available day and date with its Christmas Day release in theaters but would likely stream on the netcaster within a few days.

Netflix declined comment. It’s understood that Sony execs screened the movie for Netflix execs in recent days.

Sony has just announced a group of online distribs that will make the movie available for rental today starting at 10 a.m. PT: Google Play, YouTube Movies, Xbox Video and the website for $5.99, or $14.99 for an HD version.

A Netflix deal would also give the movie a broad platform to be seen by the netcaster’s 53 million global subscribers. But the prospect of a Netflix airing also raised questions about how that would impact the movie’s traditional pay TV exhibition window, as Sony Pictures has an output deal with Starz.

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Starz said it made an effort to work with Sony regarding the “Interview” window because of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the cyber attack that has hobbled Sony Pictures release plan for the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy.

“As the situation with ‘The Interview’ is new territory and has been constantly evolving, Starz released the film from its output deal in order to allow Sony maximum flexibility with their distribution strategy,” a Starz spokeswoman said.

Sony is not believed to be in talks with any other SVOD service — meaning no Hulu or Amazon — for the movie.

“The Interview” has become a cause célèbre among free speech advocates after a threat from hackers linked to North Korea spurred major theater chains to back out of showing it and Sony to scrap its Dec. 25 theatrical release.

But on Monday and Tuesday, a number of indie theaters came forward with offers to screen the movie, allowing Sony to save some face and proceed with the Dec. 25 bow, albeit in about 300 theaters rather than the nearly 3,000 that had been set for the wide release, before the unprecedented cyber-attack masterminded by North Korea sent the studio and the movie’s prospects into a tailspin.

Although Sony last week denied any plans for a VOD or streaming release, the studio clearly was reaching out to potential digital partners. Sources said the outreach to Netflix and others came before word surfaced about the indie theater push.

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  1. Dave Taylor says:

    Just about every product and service on the planet provides money back or compensation if you do not like the product or service! even 99 percent of all software lets you test before you buy, not the case with the entertainment industry, movies, tv, music and games, if they are no good or an inferior product you just lost out too bad no refund. Hmmmm and i wonder why there are pirates?

  2. Monty says:

    Finally! A comedy worth watching on Netflix.
    Cannot wait!! Netflix needs to carry this movie!
    Tired of paying 8 bucks a month for crap. The Interview would make up for that loss. Since its Sony, hopefully they will add this to their Sony movies in 4K line up!

    • Dave Taylor says:

      All you have to do is get the Hola Chrome browser extension and you will be able to switch regions on Netflix and watch just about any Movie and Tv show on the planet, just by looking for a few minutes at the different regions offerings, try Sweden they have the best Netflix content hands down!

  3. Jerry says:

    I was shocked at how bad a film this was. It should never have been released, not because of North Korea of course, but because the films stinks. Just dreadful and totally unfunny. This should be more embarrassing to Sony than the leaked e-mails.

  4. JimmyDEET says:

    Sony should release the crapola movie dubbed in Korean and FREE for downloading for the world. I would not pay a penny to see this dog of a movie. Seth Rogan is about as funny as ebola.

  5. lee says:

    $14.99 to stream HD version. These crooks never miss a ripoff.

  6. greggebhardt says:

    what were people expecting Gone with the Wind? This was less than a B movie for sure.

  7. Truelitistnot says:

    Who gives a flying —-?!??! Sony and their stupid publicity stunt.

  8. AbraKan says:

    don’t see this movie. However, I’m not asking you to avoid it because of a dufus in NK, I’m begging you not to see it because it’s literally two hours of your life that you’ll never get back!

    The movie is horrible. Loved the trailers, but barely laughed during the movie. talk about hype. if that is funny, then what is Old School?

  9. BigBroKnows says:

    While it’s nice that the president gave a nod to the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, it’s a shame that he was not able to give writer/producer of “Innocence of Muslims” Nakoula Basseley Nakoula a nod too. Instead he threw Nakoula under the Islamic appeasement bus standing up for his freedom of speech.

    Bad Optics:
    USA president will back Sony (ie. political megabucks doner) on their freedom of speech rights, but an individual’s constitutional rights are grease for the wheels of international politics involving theocracies posing as a governments.

  10. My thoughts upon seeing ” The Interview”. As a UN Peace Messenger in addition to a Product Placement Agent, I have seen first hand the issues with children around the world that are taught to harbor hateful sentiments against a nation or a people.

    We all too often disregard the people of a country in their struggle for survival. These same people when nurtured in body and soul, fed sound principals of mind as in the UN Resolution 53/25 A Decade of Peace for Children/ bridging the Digital Divide that was passed by 191 countries in the General Assembly, develop thought process that respect life. I have seen this in the making first hand. To evolve as a species it is time we stand in the might of sensible care of our planet both in nature and our people. To feed those that most require our input in mind and body. To have our children sing and study songs of growth together as one earth in our Culture of Peace

    And North Korea please take note. The Interview does pock fun as some of the banality in the US. We as a people here in the US are able to mock ourselves without too much censorship creating food for thought in our citizens. All people worldwide have the inalienable right to these freedoms. Some overly gross language that belongs to a men’s locker in past times and sime banal and juvenile humor but hey, we’re still a young country.

    That said with all due respect to North Korea and Mr. Kim ……perhaps a ….. leader would have been more appropriate. But you gonna admit, some great acting and lots of funny stuff here, so where’s the sense of humor from North Korea.

    Instead we now have escalated cyber warfare and the world has yet again changed forever. It’s too bad as baring disrespect, some banality and bad taste there are some fun moments in here that could have brought our countries closer together if the film was taken in the spirit it was intended. I think though that we as humanity do need to evolve and respect each other. And that we may also tell our tales in ways that honor each other yet expound the truth at times in humor.

    With some truth in humor, disrespect, poking fun at both cultures and thoughts to ponder for both countries.

    Marsha R.Levine
    A List Entertainment, Inc.

    • J.E. Vizzusi says:

      We the people have decided to make a political adventure out of a b-movie premiere in which if you read this thread, folks are beginning to re- think it all may been a publicity stunt. I myself don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories but how can we be sure of anything without a internal investigation. Highly unlikely I would think since Sony Pictures claims to be the victim. We must use extreme caution here when getting caught up in a PR Campaign to sell a film. And its a story I hope drops out of the headlines as fast as the hydrogen bombs in Doctor Strangelove. jv

    • Everyone Else says:

      Marsha, Marsha, Marsha –

      STFU and get back in the kitchen!

  11. sentient1 says:

    I wanted to see the movie anyway, the hype added to the story of course. Happy to watch from home and not pay theater rates. Was a fun movie, more than i expected. If it was marketing, then that marketing only made the product cheaper for me. If the hack was real and from north korea then hell yea i went against a dictator and chose to watch!

  12. Roku Rules says:

    The only way I would ever be engrossed by the splendor of this cinematic masterpiece is to wait for its free availability on Netflix or Amazon.

  13. Seth Rogenauer says:

    Yeah, because what? You were expecting an Oscar contender here? Dummy.

  14. arrr matey says:

    i just downloaded it from and im very glad i didnt waste 5.99. the movie is no more than a 2/10 and thats being generous. couldnt bare more than 30 mins… you can actually feel your brain shrinking

    • Joseph says:

      Please don’t pirate. The movie industry employs thousands of people in a variety of trades, which pays their mortgages and feeds their families. A movie costs the price of a hamburger, fries and a coke, so don’t be a pig.

      • That’s like trying to justify gambling by noting the various dealers needing to feed their family’s, or prostitutionprostitution. There movie industry take money from foolish people to produce social influencing propaganda, soft porn, and just plain crud. More of that money goes to the stars and producers who do little to earn what they have..

    • Jeff says:

      I doubt the tastes of someone who would confess to stealing an intellectual property on an internet forum. Obviously the jokes went way over your head.

  15. YES! Just watched it…. SOOOO funny – smoke a bowl first – I’m sure it was a scam to get us to watch, I mean the hackers are called the “GOP” – from liberal Hollywood that makes sense… Funniest movie in a while! 6 bucks on YouTube ain’t bad…cheaper than going to the movies!!!

  16. I can’t stand movies like The Interview, but I’ll watch it online to show my support to Sony. Commie bastards.

  17. bill says:

    Is it just me, or is all this looking like a huge monstrous publicity stunt/false flag?
    This orchestrated event has several tentacles and many players….

    Just to name a few:

    Increased Cyber Security , Cyber Security Defense Contracts, Cyber Security Legislation, Cyber Restrictions, Cyber Government Control, Censorship, False Imprisonment, and Tyranny related to the Internet against whomever the establishment may want to target for whatever reason they deem necessary to achieve whatever goal they may have in mind.

    These are just to name a few… and probably only fill one of the tentacles….

      • Paul says:

        Willy, thousands of current and former Sony employees have had their SSN and salaries released for the world to see, including my girlfriend. One of her friends has already had 2 identity theft attempts since this all started.

        I understand that from afar it seems nothing is beyond boundary for studios when marketing a movie, but for God’s sake, WAKE UP!!!!

        Sony has lost $70 million, the president has become involved, we (likely) shut off North Korea’s internet for 9 hours, and private emails about an array of topics became public.

        Now please stop with this.

      • Willy says:

        No it will be proven to be a hoax mark my word and you sheeple all fell for it!

  18. NKsux says:

    They might as well sell it to Netflix; if they were going to stream it for $6, it was going to available for free on pirate sites within a couple of hours of its release.

  19. Patrick Juvet says:

    That’s the Sony we all know and love – giving a one-day jump to the streaming services over the theatres that first stepped up to the plate to offer them an out for this mess.

  20. caligula says:

    this is how all movies should be released.

    • jhs39 says:

      From a convenience standpoint yes but a big budget movie would never come close to making back its money with this type of release–anytime a movie is released on VOD it’s available to download for free a few hours later. Family movies would also suffer even without pirating because the whole family would only have to pay one rental fee to watch the movie–Pixar and Dreamworks spend a minimum of 160 million dollars to make their animated films–turning a profit would likely be impossible with day and date VOD. As far as I could find Bridesmaids appears to be the highest grossing VOD title of all time with 24 million dollars earned–that’s fantastic for VOD (Snowpiercer making 3.8 million is considered a hit for the format) but it’s a bad opening weekend for a big budget film opening in theaters.

  21. smp says:

    Honestly, I don’t know that I would have watched the movie, but for a reasonable price I’d pay to stream it just to show support for putting it out there.

  22. nerdrage says:

    Ah good, I was wondering where Netflix was in all this. I would hate to think they’re scared of hackers but Google isn’t…

    • John Smith says:

      Well, in their defense, nflx probably does not have the same anti-hacking resources as goog.

      • bengalsava says:

        In netflix defense, It is hard to be afraid of a country that can have their internet go down at the drop of a hat. It doesn’t mean much to get cyber threats from a country that still use Tandy, Apple 2e’s and Mac 128’s as their computer arsenal

  23. John Smith says:

    Apparently this movie will be on YouTube for $6.

    That’s at least $5 more than I’m willing to pay.

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