Hollywood Shocked, Disappointed About ‘The Interview’ Cancellation

The Interview James Franco Seth Rogen

Sony pulled the Christmas Day release of “The Interview” on Wednesday after hackers levied threats to attack theaters showing the comedy, causing a slew of exhibitors to say they wouldn’t screen the movie.

The decision has already sparked a large variety of opinions, with many angry at the studio and exhibitors for pulling out of the film starring Seth Rogen and James Franco as a duo on a mission to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Industry figures including Judd Apatow, Rob Lowe, Jimmy Kimmel and more have taken to social media to weigh in, with several slamming Sony for the decision.

Read a list of tweets below, which will be updated as more come in:


In a statement, Aaron Sorkin said, “Today the U.S. succumbed to an unprecedented attack on our most cherished, bedrock principle of free speech by a group of North Korean terrorists who threatened to kill moviegoers in order to stop the release of a movie. The wishes of the terrorists were fulfilled in part by easily distracted members of the American press who chose gossip and schadenfreude-fueled reporting over a story with immeasurable consequences for the public–a story that was developing right in front of their eyes. My deepest sympathies go out to Sony Pictures, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and everyone who worked on ‘The Interview.'”

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  1. Wessie van der Westhuizen says:

    I remained quiet for a long time.
    I just can’t bear it any longer that Hollywood can’t make a film without using the LORD’S name in sane.

    The bible Cleary cushion people that the one who uses the LORDS name in sane will not be forgiven.

    Are your movies so poor that you must use the LORDS name to strengthen the story?
    It is unfair to the viewers that respect the LORD. They can’t watch the film.

    I see darkness for your company in the future if you ignore this request. I hope you will do something about it.


    Wessie from South Africa.
    We in South Africa still love and respect the great Farther “GOD”

  2. Atomic Fury says:

    Upon reading the comments above, my conclusion is still the same – a lot of overreaction to a minor event exacerbated by Sony’s concern for their embarrassing e-mails. I don’t know if North Korea was truly behind the hack but understanding their government gives one no surprise they were against the premise of the film. They tried to blackmail Sony and the latter caved. Simple as that. Our freedom of expression is still intact even if Sony is the true culprit in any perceived trampling of the First Amendment. Hollywood can continue to produce over-priced crap that the “asleep-at-the-wheel” theater-going money burners will enthusiastically support. And the so-called stars of this age can make millions for their lack of talent.

    Yes Virginia, I am dancing for joy that the Hollywood industry is upset over this scandal because they deserve it. No, I don’t like the hacking nor the precedent that could be set. But sooner or later something like this was going to happen because of the pervasive cocky and arrogant attitude that’s gone unchecked for at least 20 years among the most vocal of Hollywood. They make their living on America then turn around and try to force policy changes that weaken it through their influence and elbow-bumping at cocktail parties. So, it’s only natural that the “artistry” industry would be offended. The only thing about this which could offend me is anyone who feels sorry for them.

  3. loco73 says:

    “Dissapointed” is actually something which is very much associated with Hollywood these days..so why would anyone be also “shocked” at what Sony Studios and all the major moviethearre chains and distributors decided to do with “The Interview”?! “The Interview” is by the way mediocre, largely unfunny and tries to faintly evoke, failing in the process, “Spies Like Us”…

    I shudder to think what Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will do to the adaptation of “Preacher” over at AMC…

  4. sunflowerpower says:

    Variety: no further comments on your news stories unless they come from verified industry members, PLEASE

    The ignorance in these comments is astounding and will drive many of us away

    We do not need drivel, ignorance and racism from Audience. These commentators don’t even know what turnaround is… unless they do and can prove it with their studio websites, DO NOT LET THEM POST! This is VARIETY MAGAZINE… they have Us, People and EW… PLEASE… silence the Stupid

  5. sunflowerpower says:

    I for one feel a little torn. We should never bow to censorship pressure, but then again could this be a hand from on high warning us all that this kind of feature has officially seen its day and we all need to move on?

    Once right wing Christian terrorists realize you can browbeat a studio into removing all gay material from films and episodics, a whole lot of shingles – and stars – will be in a lot of trouble. Above photo and its quietly voiced opinion cited as exhibit (a) please.

    A lot of people, even here in Holly, are sick to death of it. It’d be nice to see that particular viewpoint exit stage right… but does it have to take a terror cell full of sickos to do it? Bye bye Seth and James… we won’t miss you either! Signed, NOT SONY BUT ABOUT THE SAME LEVEL… there’s a lot of us!

  6. Chalk up the $loss, and make the movie available, free, over the net – Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc. It should be seen by as many people as possible, as soon as possible, or this is going to become a very dangerous precedent.

  7. Just revenge for Rogan’s THE GREEN HORNET—–Kim Jong un is a huge BRUCE LEE and VAN WILLIAMS fan!!!!

  8. AngelMama says:

    It’s amazing how many famous people speak up for a stupid movie that was probably destined to flop yet none of them mention that #blacklivesmatter. We have police officers killing unarmed black men and women but that’s apparently less important than a comedy film.

    Way to pay attention to the important things Hollywood! /sarcasm

  9. Rueben V. says:

    First the show “Freaks and Geeks” gets canceled and now this…cancel that hair show on Kim Jong-un head…PLEASE!!!

  10. occultology says:

    Harry Cohen, the former head of Columbia Pictures, feared no one, ever. I am glad that he is not here to witness his studio’s corporate cowardliness. SONY: get out of the movie business, pronto!

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  12. occultology says:

    The Freedom of the United States of America died on December 17, 2014. North Korean Hackers were the Prime Suspect, but it turns out that it was a SONY SUICIDE. If SONY refuses to release this movie I will NEVER purchase a ticket to ANY Columbia Picture from now until the end of time. SONY has not only irreparably damaged the prestige of the USA, it has shredded the Creative Soul of the entire Entertainment Industry. Furthermore, I hope an entire platoon of rabid Attorneys at Law vet the legalities of advertising that a movie is being released to the public on Christmas Day (creating a tenor of anticipation and expectation for said celluloid product) only to be dry-humped into submission by an anonymous and phantom unseen menace. [Class Action Lawsuit, anyone?!] SONY’s Corporate Cowardice has demonstrated to the entire world that America is now, officially, no longer “The Land of the FREE and the Home of the BRAVE”. Now, after this debacle, every time I will happen to glimpse of Columbia’s “ISIS Holding the Torch of Freedom” Distributor’s Seal Iconography, I will realize why they chose an anthropomorphic figure without any BALLS to represent their theatrical products!!!

    • TONY says:

      So much for balls.
      Rogan and Franco cancel all media and comments on the subject.
      Where are their ‘balls’ to stand up and be a man and support their idiot movie???

      So I guess Hitler was expressing his ‘creative freedom of speech’ against the Jews.
      or the KKK was expressing ‘creative freedom’ against Blacks…

      • jgaz says:

        This particular movie’s artistic merrit or quality (or lack thereof) is irrelevant to the disscussion, even if it had been Transformers or The Last Airbender, it would still be a terrible precedent. “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
        And as someone who lived through civil war and evil dictatorships, I can say that when danger comes knocking to your door, when your family is at stake, it is even more important not to be a coward. and craven cowardice is what this is.

      • occultology says:

        Stay on topic please.

  13. TONY says:

    ‘Freedom of speech’ over saving lives….do the math.
    ALL YOU ACTORS SHOUTING ‘FREEDOM OF SPEECH’..until it hits your front door….

    Where is ‘freedom of speech’ when Rogan cancels his media tour? What?…wait..he’s afraid? Of WHAT?

  14. TONY says:

    Sad day for creative expression. #feareatsthesoul

    — Steve Carell (@SteveCarell) December 17, 2014


  15. Sephirot says:

    Sorry to say this, but it appears that Americans have collectively miss the point… Again!

    This doesn’t have anything to do with freedom of expression.
    As a artist (photographer) with very liberal views on the world, I am against all censorship, especially in art, but I do not condone the idea behind this movie.

    Hollywood for decades is not a home to originality, creativity or art! All that gets funded are remakes, and spin-offs of spin-offs, and war movie that are crap, but they support the “right side”. Nothing new, original, fresh!

    All decent American movies in decades come from independent niche.
    Than comes this!

    Movie about killing an actual person. A head of state which is in quite fragile relationship with the USA.
    That gets funded? Why? Not to support art, but as a provocation, to North Korea and its unstable regime, probably intended to spark a verbal response from North Korean leaders, which will then be used to create negative atmosphere towards North Korea, and help in justifying some sanctions toward them.

    Think what would happened if someone made a movie about assassination on Martin Luther King in time of March on Washington?
    Do you think that Americans (especially black, would say: “It’s all good… It’s just fun… it’s art?!” Hell no!

    • Atomic Fury says:

      Excellent response. I may differ on most points of a liberal nature but I am in agreement with the idea that the premise of this film was over the line. There is a difference between freedom of expression and pulling the tail of a tiger.

    • TONY says:

      Totally Agree!!!!
      There’s nothing funny or creative about this!
      The excuse of it being ‘creative expression’ is ridiculous.

      • TONY says:

        Dead heroes carry no flags….THINK SMART, OUTSMART THE ENEMY.

      • occultology says:

        …and you have formed your opinion of this movie after how many times you have actually seen this movie? I thought so. Cowards are useless, Tony/Sony.

  16. Matt Tran says:

    So the Japanese make us the tools in their brinksmanship against North Korea and we blame the North Koreans? How about Sony makes a movie about attempting to assassinate the Japanese prime minister instead? And how about instead of getting “the CIA” to do the dirty deed, they do it themselves? Why is the USA still “defending” South Korea, a nation that militarily, culturally and economically dominates North Korea to an extent that’s almost laughable. Let the Koreans defend themselves and pull the USA out of these obsolete foreign entanglements.

  17. Jeff says:

    Let me ask a simple question. If we substituted Kim Jong-Un with Barack Hussein Obama and the North Koreans were killing Obama in a movie would we still think it’s funny?

  18. CharlesAz says:

    PEOPLE pause and think it through – because these threats have been made so unabashedly public and wide-sweeping, plaintiff’s lawyers would have a perpetual feast at SONY’s expense for any and all harm, injury, damage befall attendees of The Interview. One possible way to for SONY and theaters to possibly deflect some liability to harmed moviegoers would be to plaster warnings on the screen, in advance of the showing, on the back of each movie ticket, at the point of purchase, etc ad nauseum – to attempt to insulate itself by creating a ‘see the movie at your own risk – we’ve warned you’ scenario. Even still, plkaintiff’s lawyers would own SONY if this were released and people started getting injured, killed, financially ruined, etc. SONY would be reckless if it went forward. In a legal sense. So this is not about courage cowardice or the 1st Amendment. This is about preserving its own corporate skin.

  19. Harvey Weinstein says:

    I for one will see affirmative action Annie, only kidding.
    I would never pay money to see that crap.

  20. Beckstle says:

    Aaron Sorkin is absolutely right. Everyone is in the press is now screaming at Sony, but they were all willing to publish the stolen info from the Korean hacking. They had no support from from anyone against the cyber attack, no one gave a damn about the precedent the press was creating around cyber terrorist attacks, and the press made the hacking successful in damaging Sony. If Sony went ahead with showing the movie and something happened you can bet the press would once again take great pleasure in faulting them – instead of the terrorists. Even now, people are blaming Sony when Sony’s the friggin’ victim.

  21. IT 2 IT says:

    Self-indulgent drivel and FARCE will –NEVER— do
    as MILLIONS continue suffering and worse.

    Hollywood, Spielberg, Eastwood et al – – -have suck–cess–fully
    ———————BURIED WITHOUT a TRACE———————–
    some 5 decades of milestone anniversaries
    for the now 21st century DEFINING —-KOREAN WAR.

  22. Conan The Republican says:

    So, apparently, NO ONE gets it that North Korea has no way to actually physically attack the USA? Is this what I am to understand? What are they gonna do, send tourists over here to do it? The worst they can do is cyber attack, and we can attack back on THAT front.

  23. none says:

    I don’t understand why everyone is so upset about this. North Korea clearly showed what they are willing to do to stop this movie. what happens if everyone went ahead and released it and something did happen? suppose they hacked all the theater chains and released employee info or worse.

    i think they did the right thing and pulled. why poke a hornets nest over some crappy ass movie.

  24. crookedmindframe says:

    I agree with Bill Maher on this one, the U.S. look like a bunch of pussies right now after caving in.

    • Spielburg Von Flinger says:

      No, Obama looks like one. He is terribly weak and hates America himself.

      • Obama? He’s got nothing to do with this – and neither does SONY – theaters are choosing not to show it – you want the president to force the to show it? Would that be what you do in a free country?

  25. Bob C. says:

    The flying monkeys who report to Kim Jong-un, the dictator of North Korea, have Uncle Sam cowering under his bed over a silly movie. Nah! That sounds like a silly movie!

  26. Pit says:

    North Korea is political correctness in its ultimate form. Hollywood people have been pushing these same ideas of attacking anything they don’t like for years. Now they’re getting a taste of what it’s like to be on the receiving end and they don’t like it. Too bad!

  27. VS330 says:

    As the dominoes (Carmike, the NYC premiere, AMC) began to fall, it was predictably just a matter of time before Sony withdrew THE INTERVIEW. Also predictably, celebrities and others with no stake in the film (nor in the possible consequences of its release) take to Twitter to blast Sony and cry foul over the “un-American” acquiescence to the hackers/terrorists. I’m torn. Whether credible or not, the threat of 9/11-type violence gets attention from the public and from copycat wackos, and if even one person were harmed on Christmas Day in some incident related to the film, well, we would all be calling for the heads of the irresponsible Sony/theater-chain executives. On the flip-side, yes, this represents an unfortunate victory for those who wanted to squelch a capitalistic “attack” on their dictatorial government, as well as a sad victory over creative expression. There really are no easy answers, but I will say three things: (1) the hackers re-wrote the playbook on cyber-terrorism, slowly bringing the Sony suits to their knees by embarrassing them, ruining their professional relationships, exposing their secrets and then, brilliantly, unveiling their more sinister threats and demands when their prey were ready to do anything to make it all stop; (2) as this wore on, I was prepared to buy a ticket to the film (though I would have wandered into some other film, as THE INTERVIEW is, by all early accounts, God-awful), simply to cast my minor box-office vote for artistic license; and (3) were I to adapt the screenplay for this crazy affair, the third-act twist would be that it was all a nifty bit of corporate espionage engineered by Rupert Murdoch to inflict significant damage on a vulnerable rival to his 20th Century Fox. I’m still hoping we will be able to pin this on Murdoch.

  28. DougW says:

    This is a very limited view of Hollywood’s reaction. As another poster points out, the business overall is relieved that “The Interview” won’t be in theaters, potentially keeping customers away from all the movies in release over the holidays…including Sony’s “Annie.”

  29. Marc Huitt says:

    Sony and the movie theater chains just showed the world what cowards they are.

    They’ve allowed NK to export the totalitarian control they are known for against their own people to the world at large.

    I am truly ashamed at the lack of backbone these companies have shown and personally would not mind seeing the people who made these decision get tarred and feathered for their cowardly actions.

    • Spielburg Von Flinger says:

      Where is Obama in all this? We are threatened with another 9/11 and we get nothing from Obama to help Hollywood? Electing a thin-skinned, community organizer as president has consequences.

      This is one of them.

  30. Chris Barwick says:

    Coward! So the only sensible thing for Sony (or the filmmakers) to do is to leak THE INTERVIEW onto the internet, no?

  31. Kirk Land says:

    A Bit of hypocrisy on the part of Hollywood, don’t you think?

    The central conceit of Death of a President was much criticised by those who believed it exploited the subject of presidential assassination, and that by doing so, was in bad taste. Gretchen Esell of the Texas Republican Party described the subject matter saying, “I find this shocking, I find it disturbing. I don’t know if there are many people in America who would want to watch something like that.”[7] Hillary Clinton, then junior United States Senator from New York, told The Journal News of Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam counties at the annual New Castle Community Day in Chappaqua that, “I think it’s despicable. I think it’s absolutely outrageous. That anyone would even attempt to profit on such a horrible scenario makes me sick.”[8]

    Simon Finch, the co-screenwriter, replied saying that Clinton had not seen the film when she commented.[9] The Bush administration did not comment about the film; as White House spokesperson Emily Lawrimore remarked, “We are not commenting because it doesn’t dignify a response.”[10] Two U.S. cinema chains, Regal and Cinemark, refused to screen Death of a President,[11][12] which was distributed by Newmarket Films in the United States. CNN and NPR also refused to broadcast advertisements for the film.[13]

  32. bob says:

    Isn’t the real story how Sony failed to protect their employees private information after being hacked more than once and not upgrading their security? I could care less about a stupid film in light of their negligence which will cause harm to innocent employees, and boo hoo to the millionaire filmmakers and execs who can just write off their losses.

  33. Robbie Goldstein says:

    I would not give credence to North Korea attacking any theater showing the movie. But America stained with violence from school shootings, Chicago violence, random mall shootings, post office psychos, bank robberies, gang violence, domestic violence, and shootings in theaters, I suggest pausing a moment before you think the constitution has crumbled. If the insanity of all this propelled someone to just shoot up a theater for the sake of notoriety and people died. What would Rob Lowe or Judd A.
    be saying then. You sit back not having to make any decision except press the key on your twitter account. This is a situation unprecedented. I am not walking in any decision makers shoes. So I am cutting them a break. We have so many cracks in our system that let whackos exist and act out their violence. In this instance let those that have to act act and shut the hell up.

  34. Andy says:

    Everyone totally punted. Sony didn’t want liability so they left it up to exhibitors to play or not. Exhibitors didn’t want to assume liability, so they said they’d rather not play. Everyone covering their own downside and no one standing up for what really should have happened.

    Sony is badly damaged through this process to be sure but they could have come out a whole lot stronger in everybody’s eyes if they were willing to stand up for their film and filmmakers by giving the movie away. It still can happen.

    In theaters, on VOD, on Pay TV. Wherever they choose to do so, they should give the movie away for free and have a message before and after, a crawl periodically on the bottom of the screen, that encourages viewers to pay what they want. Set up a web site to assist in raising $$, as well. My guess is that they’d generate more this way than the theatrical box office ever would have done in a regular release. It’s not too late…

  35. Boris the Spidr says:

    Variety is censoring this board.

  36. Randy says:

    The threats could discourage movie-goers attending other films this holiday season, so Sony’s problem affects every other studio with a movie in cineplexes. Theater owners probably consulted with their lawyers and insurance companies on the possible legal risk if something happened. Sony’s really in a bind here, since releasing it as VOD or on home video could result in threats or violence against their employees. The events in Aurora, Colorado are a reminder that one determined loon can create a tragedy.

    Unfortunately, this could result in similar threats of violence or actual violence against theaters playing films that religious extremists or violent racists in this country don’t agree with. I have the sickening feeling that boardrooms are looking at projects with controversial themes – abortion, gays, minorities – that have spawned protests or violence in the past with more scrutiny, even if the films or scripts are relatively benign.

    Probably the only path for Sony to take at this point is to work with US authorities on the potential threat level and eventually release the film to VOD and home video when the situation blows over. The project is a hot potato now and I’m sure they want to wash their hands of the whole affair.

  37. Julian says:

    With shootings and violence in movie theaters still a painful subject for many, I can see why the theaters would be fearful and averse to the film and any hint of terrorism. It’s sad that they have given in to terrorists, but from a business perspective I can see that theaters and then Sony ran the numbers and decided this was the best course of action — not necessarily what is best for Hollywood or the business at large, but for them and for other films in theaters, in this unprecedented situation.

  38. David says:

    The theater owners don’t want people to stay away for any reason in the lucrative Christmas time frame. For this crap movie I wouldn’t risk it either. Bump it to February

  39. SD says:

    You can thank the legal profession in this country for this…not the theater owners or Sony. One incident at any theater during the showing of this and the vultures(lawyers) will be circling saying they knew it would happen.

  40. Patrick R. says:

    There has to be an insurance opportunity for Sony in order to pull this movie from theaters. My guess is they are protected from situations like hacking, especially at this scale. The insurance claim could far surpass the revenue they may have made with people being scared to go to theaters. I believe that’s why Sony was so quick to go the theaters and say, we won’t be upset if you pull our movie. They won’t be upset because they get paid in that situation from insurance.

  41. Shari says:

    Sony had no choice but to pull it once the multiplexes caved. SPINELESS. SPINELESS. SPINELESS.

  42. dandrews1138 says:

    Not thrilled, but whatever I guess. I’ll just watch it on Netflix and then buy it on Blu Ray.

  43. Larry Deutchman says:

    While I may have had no interest in seeing this movie, at least I could choose for myself. If the studio didn’t want to release it for commercial reasons, that would be one thing, but what a terrible precedent to have set for the future. Shame on us for knuckling under to terrorists. Woe is us the next time.

  44. Now only safe thing is to nuke North Korea. Wait 30 days, and show THE INTERVIEW

  45. Never give in to threats, unless it’s a threat to attack cinemas showing “ANNIE” which would probably be a benevolent thing… :)

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