It seems The Interview will get a release after all.
Originally set for a Christmas Day release, movie theaters across the U.S. said last week they wouldn’t be screening the movie after a hacker group threatened violence, a situation that led Sony Pictures to announce it had “no further release plans.”
But following widespread criticism of its decision, among it some harsh words from President Obama, the movie studio appears to have backtracked, saying over the weekend that it’s “exploring options” for distribution.
A New York Post report on Sunday suggested the movie studio was looking at the idea of releasing The Interview via Crackle, Sony’s free video-streaming service, though Sony spokeswoman Lauren Condoluci has since said this is not one of the options under consideration.
A Sony Pictures lawyer appearing on Meet the Press on Saturday said the movie studio was certain to make the film available at some point, adding that it had only “delayed” its release, not canceled it.
“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,” David Boies told host Chuck Todd.
When Obama learned of Sony’s apparent decision last week to cancel the December 25 release of The Interview, he described it as “a mistake.”
“We can not have a society in which some dictator some place can start imposing censorship in the United States, because if somebody is able to intimidate us out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing once they see a documentary that they don’t like or news reports that they don’t like,” Obama said, adding, “That’s not who we are. That’s not what America is about.”
The Seth Rogen comedy has been the focus of protests by hacker group Guardians of Peace (GoP), which took offense to the movie’s storyline about a CIA attempt to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
The group hacked Sony Pictures’ computer systems toward the end of last month before releasing tons of sensitive data online, including unreleased movies and thousands of private emails sent between Sony executives and others in the movie business.
The FBI has linked the hack to North Korea, though many analysts appear to remain skeptical that the country has had any direct involvement in the attack.