Seth Rogen and James Franco aren’t exactly known for being restrained or demure when it comes to their particular brand of comedy. However, with the production and premise of their latest outing, The Interview, the two may have finally crossed some borders.
North Korean borders, to be exact.
Conceptualised and developed by Rogen and longtime friend/frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg, The Interview was initially meant for a 2012 release featuring the late North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il. However, following his death in 2011, the movie was put on hold and was only dusted off following the rise of Kim Jong-un… who, according to Roben and Goldberg, was much more appropriate for the humorous take on North Korean dictatorship.
Despite claiming to be unconcerned by potential backlash, Sony restricted plans of international release, deciding to confine the movie to within the Asia-Pacific region, effectively avoiding any risk of controversy in the regions close to Korean borders.
Scheduled for a 25th December release after a couple of delays due to “technical reasons,” the movie was ultimately hit by the Sony hack when the hackers (presumed to have ties with North Korea) began issuing threats of terrorism in regards to the release of the movie.
Shortly after the issuing of threats, Seth Rogen and James Franco called off their promotional appearances and tour, and certain theatres began pulling it off their schedules. Given the gravity of the situation, Sony themselves announced the cancellation of the movie’s release the following day.
Despite of the hype however, the movie’s early reviews were lukewarm at best, averaging in the 40-60% range according to aggregate review sites such as Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.
Perhaps had it been released, the movie may have been far more forgettable than the controversy and hype currently surrounding it.