The irony of social and political tension is that it can be created not just by large and important actions, but by anything at all. And so, today, we heard President Barack Obama deadpanning “I think it says something about North Korea” that the country would “mount an all-out attack over a satirical film… starring Seth Rogen.”
This is the world we’re in now, where entertainment news and geopolitics are the same thing, where the leader of the United States devotes time in a press conference to a comedy movie.
In the wake of Sony scrapping the release of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg‘s film The Interview, arguments have erupted over the wisdom behind the move. The Sony hackers — now identified by the FBI as elements of the North Korean government — responded with a new message saying that retaliation would follow if Sony released The Interview in any form, ever. Responding to a question about the hack and the decision to pull the film, Obama says Sony made a mistake pulling the movie, and that retaliation will follow.
UPDATE: Sony responded to the President’s claims later in the afternoon. In the statement, they say “It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so.” Unfortunately, every VOD outlet has turned them down. Read the full statement below.
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Previously, the #1 reason why the Alamo Drafthouse is the coolest theater chain in the country probably would’ve been its no talking or texting policy. However, that reason just got knocked off the top spot.
Fresh off the disappointing news that Sony Pictures has cancelled the December 25th release of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg‘s comedy, The Interview, the Alamo Drafthouse announced that, in its place, they’ll screen Matt Parker and Trey Stone‘s Team America: World Police.
This won’t be at every theater for every screening unfortunately. In fact, as of right now, it’s just one night, one show, at one theater. But it’s a clever, wonderful piece of programming from a chain known for that kind of thing. Read more about the Team America The Interview screening below.
UPDATE: Paramount Pictures is shutting down this and any other planned screenings of Team America. Read more below.
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Tuesday, the hackers that exposed Sony’s internal workings went a step further and issued a big threat, invoking 9/11 in a statement that promised action against theaters showing The Interview. But the Department of Homeland Security — a group that really doesn’t mess around when it comes to this sort of thing — said there was no credible information to indicate an actual threat. Sony was fairly magnanimous about the situation, saying it would allow theaters to make the decision to show the film or not, even if bookings had already been locked in.
Last night Carmike Cinemas and Bow Tie Cinemas pulled the film, and today in a precedent-setting move, the five major theater chains in the US and Canada all dropped The Interview.
Update: Sony is now considering a VOD release of the film; more info below.
Update #2: Sony has canceled the December theatrical release of The Interview. Full statement below.
Update #3: Sony has now confirmed they have “no further release plans” for the film while American Intelligence has officially linked North Korea to the Sony hack. Details below.
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One ripple from the decisions being made about Sony’s film The Interview is already being felt at another company. New Regency had been setting up a darkly comic film called Pyongyang to shoot in early 2015. The film, to be directed by Gore Verbinski with Steve Carell starring, was written to take place in the North Korean capital city after which the movie is named. Now, however, the picture has been scrapped. Read More »
So many Hollywood films are so fraught with destruction, the complaints directed at Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel were definitely a surprise. At the end of the film, Superman and Zod battle all across the city of Metropolis, creating apocalyptic chaos. It’s basically the same ending of every blockbuster film, with one difference: Superman is usually infallible. He doesn’t do anything that would endanger the public, like throwing his enemy through a skyscraper. Then again, he doesn’t kill people either, and he did that in the movie, too.
The argument was that, in the movie, Superman has only been “Superman” for a few days. He hadn’t fully created his moral code yet, or even explored the depths of his abilities. Then again, he still creates havoc that may or may not have killed thousands of people, which is very un-like the character.
This was, and has continued to be, a big debate since the film’s release. Many expected Snyder’s follow-up, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, to deal with this. We now know not only is that true, we know specifically how Batman v Superman will deal with the Man of Steel destruction complaints.
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Perpetrators of the Sony hack got a lot more serious today when they issued a threat that went far beyond stealing internal emails and documents. “Remember the 11th of September 2001,” says the threat. “We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.) Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.” In this case, “the places” refers to theaters showing The Interview, the film from writer/directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in which Rogen and James Franco play a couple of media types who are recruited to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
While no link between North Korea’s government and the hackers (who ironically call themselves “Guardians of Peace”) has been proven, the threat stirred up fears of action that goes beyond the digital realm. And even as Franco and Rogen canceled promo appearances meant to pitch The Interview to various audiences, the Department of Homeland Security says there’s no credible info to indicate an actual threat.
Update: Sony has told theaters there won’t be a problem if they decide to drop The Interview, despite any prior bookings.
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The Sony hack has taught us many things. On the movie side, it has taught us that Sony really does care about Spider-Man. They might not know what to do with him but there’s no doubt everyone is looking at every possible option for the character. You’ve probably already read a bit about the Sony talks with Marvel to get the character to appear in Captain America: Civil War, or of a possible animated movie by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, or of Marvel’s desire to recast Andrew Garfield. Now a few more details have leaked.
Turns out, the discussions with Marvel went a little deeper than we initially thought, with many different angles examined about how that marriage could work. Plus, there was a major internal discussion about how they could possibly reboot the franchise for a third time, avoiding the origin story and maybe even adapting one of the most popular Marvel Comics Spider-Man stories of all time.
Below, read the latest on plans to possibly reboot Spider-Man again. Read More »
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The drama over the film future of Spider-Man seemingly never ends. After The Amazing Spider-Man 2 failed to deliver, Sony announced an elaborate plan to spread the franchise out into some very intriguing spin-off films like Sinister Six and Venom. Then rumors began bubbling they’d been in touch with Marvel Studios to try and figure out some kind of mutually beneficial deal. At one point, there was even a discussion of Spider-Man maybe appearing in 2016′s Captain America: Civil War. Those talks broke down, and at the moment, things are still in flux.
The latest update is a few of the details in those now legendary Marvel and Sony talks. Apparently, if a deal was worked out, Marvel’s plan was to completely distance their version of Spider-Man from everything Sony had done with the character. That means recasting Andrew Garfield. Read More »