Sony to Digitally Alter THE INTERVIEW to Remove Military Buttons; May also Cut Face-Melting Scene

by     Posted 131 days ago

the interview james franco seth rogen

Last week, Sony moved Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg‘s comedy The Interview from October 10th to December 25th.  It seemed like a savvy bit of counter-programming where the R-rated comedy, which is about a TV interviewer (James Franco) and his producer (Rogen) being tasked with assassinating Kim Jong Un, would play against family films and dramas.  However, it now looks like the delay is due to technical reasons.  According to THR, Sony “is digitally altering thousands of buttons worn by characters in the film because they depict the actual hardware worn by the North Korean military to honor the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, 31, and his late father, Kim Jong Il (showcasing military decorations would be considered blasphemous to the nuclear-armed nation).”  That’s how crazy you can be when you have nukes: You can make people spend time and money in order to hide buttons.

There’s also concern over a face-melting scene, which is a bit more understandable.  Hit the jump for more.

the-interview-seth-rogen-james-francoTHR reports that the studio “is considering cutting a scene in which the face of Kim Jong Un (played by Randall Park) is melted off graphically in slow motion,” and if so, that means they’ll have to do reshoots.

With regards to these alterations, Sony says removing the buttons was due to “clearance” issues, and the face-melting scene could be redone because Rogen and Goldberg are trying to gauge how funny it is (if I may chime in, it sounds very funny).  THR notes, “What’s more likely irking Kim Jong Un — a noted film buff, like his father — is the use of the military hardware, which can be seen in the film’s first trailer released in June.”

Sources inside Sony Pictures insist Sony Japan isn’t exerting any pressure, which, if true, I find incredibly surprising. Sony Japan exerting a little pressure would be completely reasonable.  North Korea doesn’t have missiles that can reach Hollywood.  They can damn well reach Japan, so maybe you step a little gingerly when mocking the cruel, nuclear-armed dictatorship.

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  • Derp!

    Really? Did you just ruin the end of the movie? They didn’t say it was removed they said they might remove it. No “possible spoilers” or anything? I know you write about movies for a living so it must seem weird to not ruin the ending. Oh wait…The opposite of that. Even if it’s not the ending it IS the death of the main bad guy. Derp!

    Also why are Americans such pussies now. Can’t have their buttons? Who gives a shit? Do you think Japan would not put something in a movie if it was a threat to the US? Nope. They’d ignore it and act like we were being bullies.

    • Charles

      Or maybe it’s because Kim Jon Un is both a spoiled brat and completely insane. It would sound like him to start a war over a movie.

      • Agent777

        Because there have been so many comedies about assassinating standing US leaders?

      • milo

        I don’t remember any nukes flying after Team America. Or the Southpark movie for that matter.

        I wonder if it was really a political thing or the “clearance” issue as in the buttons are trademarked and using them without permission is a violation of intellectual property.

      • agent777

        Both about assainating non-U.S. leaders? When Franco and Rogan make a movie about how they have to assainate David Cameron or Andrea Merkel than you’ll have a point, but this films in very bad taste.

        Any yeah the South Park guys already did this.

      • milo

        Don’t understand what you’re trying to say. Sorry.

      • agent777

        Both about assainating non-U.S. leaders? When Franco and Rogan make a movie about how they have to assainate David Cameron or Andrea Merkel than you’ll have a point, but this films in very bad taste.

        Any yeah the South Park guys already did this.

      • milo

        I don’t remember any nukes flying after Team America. Or the Southpark movie for that matter.

        I wonder if it was really a political thing or the “clearance” issue as in the buttons are trademarked and using them without permission is a violation of intellectual property.

      • milo

        I don’t remember any nukes flying after Team America. Or the Southpark movie for that matter.

        I wonder if it was really a political thing or the “clearance” issue as in the buttons are trademarked and using them without permission is a violation of intellectual property.

      • hazzin

        I don’t want to go into politics on this site, but why do you think he is completely insane? I’m not aware that he has done anything that could be classified as insane. He is a dictator and has a cult of personality, but that is nothing new in dictatorships.

        He might be a criminal, jerk and worse, but I doubt he is that stupid to start a nuclear war over a stupid movie (it’s not like he is not made fun of by western and even eastern media all the time). He certainly knows that if he’d attack, he would die and his little dictatorship would come to an end. At best he would threaten some, maybe fire a rocket or two with no charge into the sea, but that is all.

        TL;DR I seriously doubt NK is ever going to start a war with the West, unless attacked or forced to (e.g. by complete embargo, even from China, etc.).

      • hazzin

        I don’t want to go into politics on this site, but why do you think he is completely insane? I’m not aware that he has done anything that could be classified as insane. He is a dictator and has a cult of personality, but that is nothing new in dictatorships.

        He might be a criminal, jerk and worse, but I doubt he is that stupid to start a nuclear war over a stupid movie (it’s not like he is not made fun of by western and even eastern media all the time). He certainly knows that if he’d attack, he would die and his little dictatorship would come to an end. At best he would threaten some, maybe fire a rocket or two with no charge into the sea, but that is all.

        TL;DR I seriously doubt NK is ever going to start a war with the West, unless attacked or forced to (e.g. by complete embargo, even from China, etc.).

      • hazzin

        I don’t want to go into politics on this site, but why do you think he is completely insane? I’m not aware that he has done anything that could be classified as insane. He is a dictator and has a cult of personality, but that is nothing new in dictatorships.

        He might be a criminal, jerk and worse, but I doubt he is that stupid to start a nuclear war over a stupid movie (it’s not like he is not made fun of by western and even eastern media all the time). He certainly knows that if he’d attack, he would die and his little dictatorship would come to an end. At best he would threaten some, maybe fire a rocket or two with no charge into the sea, but that is all.

        TL;DR I seriously doubt NK is ever going to start a war with the West, unless attacked or forced to (e.g. by complete embargo, even from China, etc.).

    • Kim Jong Illness

      Seriously. F*** what North Korea thinks about the movie. What are they gonna do, threaten everyone with their toy missiles again?

  • Person

    I guess we now know why the movie was delayed til Christmas.

    Seems odd that they’d only now hear about a “clearance” issue regarding these buttons. And I hope that face-melting scene stays, but if not, we’ll probably see it on the Blu-ray.

  • bidi

    granted i think this all sounds hilarious, but i still can’t believe Sony greenlit this movie in the first place. i’m all for comedy being comedy, but i know people out there get offended by every little thing. especially a fucking psycho like Kim Jong Un. i hope they go Inglourious Basterds with this thing though and just mutilate the fucker in the worst way possible. melt that face!

    • Jax

      If it was anyone else but Seth Rogen, they wouldn’t have greenlit it.

  • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

    I’m with Matt, I find it really hard to believe Sony Japan isn’t silently poking its Hollywood-based studio saying ‘Uh, hello, we don’t want to get bombed. Again.’

  • http://www.collider.com/ DNAsplitter

    I love how Franco and Rogan have really gotten to North Korea w their film (a comedy) and it hasn’t even been released yet. Still I think the film should be left unaltered to show N Korean that we don’t bow to a bullys demand – even little fat ones w awful haircuts. But that’s just me.
    Will be seeing this in theaters as Rogan hasn’t disapointed me w his raunchy comedies (Guilt Trip and Green Hornet do not fall in that category).

    • milo

      He needs to make a movie with a Barbara Streisand face melting scene.

    • milo

      He needs to make a movie with a Barbara Streisand face melting scene.

    • milo

      He needs to make a movie with a Barbara Streisand face melting scene.

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  • Redjester

    So they’re hiding NK military buttons and not killing off Kim Jong-Un gruesomely in the film, because North Korea might take it personally?

    First off, why are they appeasing North Korea here, especially considering it’s a film about offing Kim Jong-Un. And to that point, if they’re going to edit scenes that might offend Kim Jong-Un in a movie clearly meant to offend Kim Jong-Un, why even release the movie at all? Might as well just throw it in the garbage heap and publicly beg forgiveness from the ‘Great Leader’.

    In my mind, North Korea is the new Nazi Germany in that it should be perfectly acceptable to make films (and art) painting their leaders in a poor light (including assassination jokes). This is a leader who lives like a king while the rest of his country starves, who has indoctrinated his entire population to believe he’s a god, who has half of the population in forced labor camps and other prison equivalents, whose citizens have zero rights, who commits mass genocide on a daily basis, who is delusional verging on psychotic. If any world leader deserves this type of treatment, it’s Kim Jong-Un.

  • Redjester

    So they’re hiding NK military buttons and not killing off Kim Jong-Un gruesomely in the film, because North Korea might take it personally?

    First off, why are they appeasing North Korea here, especially considering it’s a film about offing Kim Jong-Un. And to that point, if they’re going to edit scenes that might offend Kim Jong-Un in a movie clearly meant to offend Kim Jong-Un, why even release the movie at all? Might as well just throw it in the garbage heap and publicly beg forgiveness from the ‘Great Leader’.

    In my mind, North Korea is the new Nazi Germany in that it should be perfectly acceptable to make films (and art) painting their leaders in a poor light (including assassination jokes). This is a leader who lives like a king while the rest of his country starves, who has indoctrinated his entire population to believe he’s a god, who has half of the population in forced labor camps and other prison equivalents, whose citizens have zero rights, who commits mass genocide on a daily basis, who is delusional verging on psychotic. If any world leader deserves this type of treatment, it’s Kim Jong-Un.

  • Redjester

    So they’re hiding NK military buttons and not killing off Kim Jong-Un gruesomely in the film, because North Korea might take it personally?

    First off, why are they appeasing North Korea here, especially considering it’s a film about offing Kim Jong-Un. And to that point, if they’re going to edit scenes that might offend Kim Jong-Un in a movie clearly meant to offend Kim Jong-Un, why even release the movie at all? Might as well just throw it in the garbage heap and publicly beg forgiveness from the ‘Great Leader’.

    In my mind, North Korea is the new Nazi Germany in that it should be perfectly acceptable to make films (and art) painting their leaders in a poor light (including assassination jokes). This is a leader who lives like a king while the rest of his country starves, who has indoctrinated his entire population to believe he’s a god, who has half of the population in forced labor camps and other prison equivalents, whose citizens have zero rights, who commits mass genocide on a daily basis, who is delusional verging on psychotic. If any world leader deserves this type of treatment, it’s Kim Jong-Un.

  • Al

    Cowards.

  • Al

    Cowards.

  • Al

    Cowards.

  • alk

    Why go through the hassle of digitally altering the buttons when all they have to do is delete the hard drives that store the movies on them? That way, no more shit movie that we have to endure.

    • Spanky

      Your a being forced to watch?

  • Gallan

    Personally think this new leader is even more dangerous than his father, so making a film that pisses him off will definitely have consequences that involve them killing people, seems really irresponsible.

  • tempname918273

    Spoilers in the TITLE now?

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