UPDATE: Here’s Sony with an official statement on the matter:
“We have never given up on releasing The Interview and we’re excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day,” said Michael Lynton, Chairman and CEO of Sony Entertainment. “At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience.”
“I want to thank our talent on The Interview and our employees, who have worked tirelessly through the many challenges we have all faced over the last month. While we hope this is only the first step of the film’s release, we are proud to make it available to the public and to have stood up to those who attempted to suppress free speech.”
And here’s an official statement from Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League:
Alamo Drafthouse will be playing THE INTERVIEW at multiple locations. Specific theaters and showtimes are currently being determined. Follow @Drafthouse for further announcements. Below please find a statement from Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League…
“We cannot imagine the pressures that have been affecting Sony, at all levels of the organization they have been under attack. Amidst this unwarranted chaos, they have regrouped and listened to the public, the government and the exhibition community and responded with resolve and determination. At 10:45 AM Sony bookers approved screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and other arthouse and independent theaters across the country.
This is the best Christmas gift anyone could give us. We, both distributors and exhibitors, have collectively stood firm to our principles and for the right to freedom of expression.
Two days til Christmas, and I am proud to be an American.”
– Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League
ORIGINAL POST: The Interview is back in action for its previously scheduled, then pulled, December 25 release — despite threats of violence from North Korean hackers whom the U.S. government believes were responsible for a massive cyberattack on Sony in response to the controversial film.
Confirmation of the new release date comes first from Tim League, owner of the Alamo Drafthouse theater chain. Plaza Atlanta, another indie theater based in Georgia, also confirmed plans to screen the film on December 25 in its own tweet, according to a news item from The Hollywood Reporter.
Breaking news: Sony has authorized screenings of THE INTERVIEW on Christmas Day. We are making shows available within the hour. #Victory
— Tim League (@timalamo) December 23, 2014
Breaking Plaza News: The Interview will open Exclusive on 12/25 . The Plaza will be one of the few theaters in the nation to open the film .
— Plaza Atlanta (@PlazaAtlanta) December 23, 2014
Sony Pictures canceled The Interview‘s release just over a week before the Seth Rogen/James Franco-starring comedy was set to premiere, blaming the recent hacking of the company and its reported connection to North Korea. While the cyberattack on Sony resulted in the leak of terabytes worth of private materials, including several unreleased feature-length films, The Interview was not among them. The attack was intended as a response to the film, which sends Franco and Rogen off to North Korea on a mission to assassinate its leader, Kim Jong-un.
The link between the hacker group, Guardians of Peace, and North Korea was outed by U.S. intelligence officials not long after Sony pulled its release plans. The Interview was initially cancelled due to a terror threat issued by the hackers, which prompted multiple major theater chains to back off of their commitments to screen the film. Indie theaters like Alamo Drafthouse responded, expressing a desire to move forward with screenings, and — according to the two theaters above, at least — Sony apparently gave the go-ahead.
Digital Trends has reached out to Sony for confirmation of the news and a statement, and we’ll update this post accordingly once we hear back. Also stay tuned for additional updates as other theaters confirm plans to screen the film on schedule.