×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Seth Rogen: Censoring North Korea in ‘The Interview’ ‘Seemed Wrong’

In an interview in the new issue of Vanity Fair, Seth Rogen and his production company partner, Evan Goldberg, revealed the internal debate about naming North Korea in “The Interview.”

Despite the fact that Sony Pictures chiefs Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton were supportive of the project, Rogen and Goldberg took the script, which was originally titled “Kill Kim Jong Un,” to a team of comedians and actors including Jonah Hill and Sacha Baron Cohen for an outside opinion.

They asked if it would be a good idea to name the movie’s dictator Kim Jong-un, “and the consensus was that it would make the movie funnier and more interesting,” they said.

Rogen and Goldberg said that it “seemed wrong” to back away from depicting Kim Jong-un in the movie. “That would be like saying, ‘Don’t make fun of Hitler because it’ll piss off Hitler.’ Because Hitler’s power comes from people being too afraid of Hitler to stop Hitler from being such a Hitler. And instead of our film looking back on past events, it could actually tackle something current.”

The two also explained their surprise when Sony pulled the movie from its Christmas release after the hackers threatened a more extreme response. “For a moment it truly seemed possible that our movie might just cease to exist,” they said. “It seemed like a rash decision born out of fear. It was disappointing that the immediate reaction was to do exactly what the criminals wanted.

“We felt it was important to make it available to any theater that wished to. Even if ultimately nobody showed it, we felt it was an important statement to make for our film and for freedom of speech. They assured us it would be released,” they added.

The two also described President Obama’s public disapproval of pulling the movie as “surreal and thrilling. It gave Sony the momentum they needed to get the movie out there.”

More Film

  • Nona

    Film Review: 'Nona'

    Twenty years and 12 features down the line, it’s still hard to peg the directorial sensibility of Michael Polish, with or without the presence of brother Mark as frequent co-writer and actor. His output has been all over the place, from early Lynchian quirkfests to the very middle-of-the-road inspirational dramedy “The Astronaut Farmer,” not to [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski "Cold War"

    Pawel Pawlikowski's 'Cold War' Wins for Best Film, Director at European Film Awards

    “Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s black-and-white romance set in the 1950s, scooped the prizes for best film, director and screenplay at the 31st edition of the European Film Awards on Saturday. “Cold War” star Joanna Kulig also won the award for best actress. Marcello Fonte, the star of Matteo Garrone’s “Dogman,” won for best actor. Armando Iannucci’s [...]

  • The Favourite Bohemian Rapsody Star is

    The Best Movie Scenes of 2018

    When we think back on a movie that transported us, we often focus on a great scene — or maybe the greatest scene — in it. It’s natural. Those scenes are more than just defining. They can be the moment that lifts a movie into the stratosphere, that takes it to the higher reaches of [...]

  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

    Box Office: 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Soars Toward $35-40 Million Debut

    “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is swinging into theaters on a high note. Sony-Marvel’s latest output is launching to $42 million from 3,813 North American locations in its debut, though other more conservative estimates place that number at $35.5 million. The animated superhero story picked up $12.6 million on Friday, easily leading the pack for the weekend. [...]

  • Ventana Sur : Cinema226 Closes Four

    Cinema226 Announces Four Intl. Co-Productions, Hints at More (EXCLUSIVE)

    Mexico’s Cinema226, run by Marco Antonio Salgado and Sam Guillén, is driving into a raft of Mexico, Argentina and Spain co-productions, playing off the current vibrancy of Mexican film production funding and distribution outlets. Among the projects are titles which have been standouts at Ventana Sur’s Blood Window, the next film by Mexico-based Argentine filmmaker [...]

  • Ventana Sur Debates Gender Parity in

    Ventana Sur Debates Gender’s 50/50 in 2020 for Argentina Film Industry

    BUENOS AIRES — Despite recent gains, namely the equality pledge towards 50/50-2020 signed at the Mar del Plata Film Festival on Nov. 12, producer Magalí Nieva, pointed out that no representative from INCAA was present following the apparent resignation of its vice-president Fernando Juan Lima. “We are left without an interlocutor to discuss gender policies [...]

  • Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass

    Ventana Sur Rocks with Sales, Mass Attendance, Structural Growth

    BUENOS AIRES — Celebrating its 10th anniversary with a huge hike in attendance to over 4,000 accredited delegates, the 2018 Ventana Sur will go down in history on multiple counts: Sales and pick-ups on movies which combined social comment and entertainment value, increasingly the new foreign-language movie standard; new sections, led by a Proyecta co-production [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content