So the ongoing issue with the Sony Hackers could have proceeded one of two ways. The hackers would release highly classified, demeaning, and embarrassing documents and emails to the public, we would be mildly amused and appalled at Hollywood’s narcissism for about a week until the hackers finally move on to tackle the Catholic Church, and Sony is left to repair its damaged image, or the hackers continue their ploy on Sony, release the holy grail of documents regarding Sony’s CEO and then threaten to perform physical attacks that could result in major catastrophe.
Unfortunately for us, the hackers have gone with option number two. A few updates regarding the case have been released and it does not look good for Sony, The Interview, the film’s stars, cinemas, movie goers, and even James Bond (The Spectre script was leaked). Seems a bit ridiculous to have affected all of these subjects, but the truth of the matter is that these hackers are top notch. I mean, in the world of hacking, a profession of which I have only come to know through Steig Larson‘s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, these guys are the Trojan Horse and may even be responsible for the Trojan Virus, who knows. That’s the issue here: no one has any idea of what these hackers are capable of, so when they threaten to implement attacks, resembling those on 9/11, on cinemas showing The Interview, it comes as no surprise that theatre chains have decided to back out of exhibition.
The film, which follows two pop-culture journalists who have been sent by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jung-un, North Korea’s leader, was to premiere in New York City at the Landmark Theater on Thursday, December 18. That premiere has now been cancelled, as well as the film’s release in Carmike Cinemas, one of the largest movie theatre chains in the U.S., which boasts 278 theaters and 2,917 screens in 41 states. They have become the first theatre chain to drop the controversial film and have just broken the ice for other sceptical chains who want to follow their cautious actions. Sony Pictures has adamantly stated that they intend to continue with the release of the film, but do support any theatres that wish to cancel it.
People have, of course, taken to the interwebs to argue both sides of the problem here. One side claims that the release of the film means that we, as Americans, as a free society with values and principles that stretch beyond the capacity of our opponents, are unwilling to let in fear and succumb to the demands of terrorists. On the other side, people’s lives are potentially at stake for an average comedy film that will no longer make any money in the box office because, let’s be honest, the film really isn’t worth the risk. Release it on VOD and let it soar with all of the hype that has already been garnered for it. Put your pride aside America, a Seth Rogan and James Franco film isn’t really worth the battle here.
I do wonder where Dennis Rodman stands with all of this. Maybe there is something he can do to help…