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.
THR 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.