Following last night’s news that Sony had decided not to release The Interview after major theater chains refused to screen the film, I saw people on Twitter popping up saying that Sony should release the movie on VOD right now as if there was some switch waiting to be flipped. Considering that movies stay in theaters for 3-4 months before hitting VOD, I don’t think there was someone at Apple or Amazon waiting by the phone, ready to put the film up for rent or purchase at a moment’s notice.
I don’t know how we’ll see The Interview, but I double it will be anytime soon. Hit the jump for more.
A Sony Pictures spokesman tells Variety that the studio “has no further release plans for the film.” We previously reported that Sony was mulling a VOD release, but if that does happen, I still don’t think we’ll see it any time soon. The movie is stuck in limbo until the furor dies down or the terrorists are brought to justice. The coast isn’t clear for Sony, and I doubt they’ll move forward until they have some certainty that it’s “safe” to release the movie.
That being said, the movie has just been pulled from North America right now. Variety adds that The Interview is scheduled for release in foreign markets in late January. We’ll see if they still get the film, or if Sony planning to lock it away in a vault for an indeterminate amount of time. Nothing would please me more if South Korea, a nation that’s in immediate, physical danger of North Korea, showed the movie. But if they chose not to, I would understand. Here in the U.S. and Canada, Sony and theater chains flinched because they didn’t want to be held liable if the threat was credible even though the Department of Homeland Security said there was no active plot against movie theaters.
There are many things that concern me about this whole situation—the largest of which is that companies will bend to the will of terrorists, and that terrorism is now dictating the art we can and cannot produce as was the case yesterday when Gore Verbinski‘s comedy Pyongyang was canceled by New Regency.
But what’s concerning me lately is if the terrorists will leak the movie online because I’m sure people will download it. They’ll support terrorism because it comes with a free movie.