The Interview is a gift that keeps on giving at the this normally slow news time of year. Last week, Sony Pictures pulled the film from its domestic and international Christmas Day release after a threat was posted by the group of hackers that cyber-attacked the company, implying a 9/11-style attack on any theater showing The Interview. On Friday, President Barack Obama said it was a bad move, and Sony execs tried to downplay the idea that they caved, saying that they do plan/hope to release The Interview at some point in the future. But there’s more than just the will to release the movie, there’s the means. And despite rumors to the contrary over the weekend, there’s still no solid word on when or how The Interview will be seen by audiences no matter where they are.
First of all, according to studio sources, The Interview will not be screened on Crackle, as suggested by The New York Post over the weekend. Crackle isn’t the first name in video streaming, but the ad-sponsored distribution platform could certainly use the bump in traffic hosting The Interview could bring. Still, the website re/code, quoted Sony spokeswoman Lauren Condoluci of Rubenstein Communications who said that “Sony is still exploring options for distribution,” and hasn’t settled on any particular platform yet.
Over the weekend, Sony continued to do damage control, executives and representatives appearing on Sunday morning talk shows to put the events of last week in context, and to assure the people that the hackers hadn’t won.
On Meet the Press (relayed through THR), Sony lawyer David Boies affirmed that The Interview will be released. “Sony only delayed this,” he said. “Sony has been fighting to get this picture distributed. It will be distributed. How it’s going to be distributed, I don’t think anybody knows quite yet. But it’s going to be distributed.”
Boies also characterized the hack as “a state sponsored criminal attack on an American corporation and its employees” and that “this is not a Sony security problem. This is a national security problem. And the government has got to lead.”
As for Sony’s conundrum, CEO Michael Lynton said on CNN that without someone else stepping up and offering to distribute The Interview, it will remain in release limbo.
“We have always had every desire to have the American public see this movie,” he said. “There has not been one major VOD — video on demand distributor — one major e-commerce site that has stepped forward and said they are willing to distribute this movie for us. Again, we don’t have that direct interface with the American public so we need to go through an intermediary to do that.”
No matter where you read it, assume that every rumor about The Interview’s release is complete bunk because you better believe that the announcement of a firm release for the Seth Rogen/James Franco film will be huge news and will not be stuffed onto some random website somewhere. Or just reported in the New York Post for that matter.
We’ll have more news about The Interview and its release as it develops.