In my four years of writing for Collider professionally, this may have been the weirdest movie news week I’ve ever seen. The Sony hack hit a crucial moment as theater chains began refusing to show The Interview, followed by Sony Pictures officially pulling the theatrical release altogether. The studio said it had “no further release plans” after the announcement despite some speculation that they might just release the film on VOD, but today the studio uploaded a new The Interview promo with the Christmas Day release intact. Moreover, the video addresses the controversy directly, with a giant “In Franco and Rogen We Trust” blasted over new footage from the movie, which includes a character asking Franco, “How many times can the U.S. make the same mistake?” Does this mean a VOD release is actually in the cards? More after the jump.
[Update: The video is now private. Either it’s an accidental upload or they don’t want it out there… yet.]
The fact that Sony would officially upload this promo—which is chock-full of references that feel like direct addresses to the controversy surrounding the film’s non-release—is incredibly curious. We’ve already seen a major response from those in the movie industry this week after Sony pulled The Interview, as New Regency canceled a North Korea-set drama that was set to star Steve Carell before it even got to production, and today Paramount Pictures denied theaters permission to screen Team America: World Police instead of the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy (a move that was positively baffling).
So what does this new The Interview promo—which says the film will be released on Christmas Day—mean? I’d wager the film is going straight to VOD next week. That’s the safest bet from Sony’s perspective, and the studio wasn’t just going to shelve an already completed project for which they’ve paid millions in advertising.
We’ve reached out to Sony for comment and will let you know as soon as we get some clarity. For now, enjoy the new promo video below.