Between the budget and marketing costs, experts are estimating that Sony Pictures sunk at least $100 million into Rogen and Franco’s latest project, The Interview, in which the main characters are sent by the CIA to interview and assassinate North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. But it looks like the movie might not ever reach mainstream audiences.
North Korea expressed their grievances with the movie early on and were not happy when they learned that production was moving forward. Since then, Sony has been the victim of a vicious hack and a subsequent leak of sensitive internal information. Now there’s been a threat of terroristic violence towards any theater that premieres the flick on Christmas Day. North Korea hasn’t copped to the threats or attacks, but has said they think the behavior is a “righteous deed.”
On Wednesday, the five largest theaters in America announced that they are indefinitely postponing their premiere of The Interview due to the threats, which prompted Sony itself to officially cancel the release of the film, according to the New York Times.
Now, Franco and Rogen are obviously infinitely smarter than most of the characters that they play. They are both brilliant actors and Rogen has earned his stripes as a writer, director and producer, as well. Love them or hate them, they’ve accomplished a lot in an extremely competitive, cutthroat industry. While their characters in Pineapple Express might not have fully grasped the magnitude of what’s been going on surrounding their newest film, it’s likely that Franco and Rogen have a ton running through their minds at this point.
On one hand, it must be a bit flattering to think your work is so influential. Maybe “flattering” is the wrong word, but everyone is talking about this movie and it’s having some impact on international relations and possibly homeland security. That’s not anything to be proud of per se, however, not everyone in this world can say they’ve made that profound an effect.
One emotion that they are feeling for sure: fear. According to E! News, Franco and Rogen have both canceled all promo appearances for the movie due to the most recent threat of violence. They have to be fearing for their own personal safety at this point.
They may also be reasonably afraid they may never work in Hollywood again after this disaster. Though the studio gave the film the green light, $100 million is no pocket change, even for a large studio. Rogen and Franco have to be wondering if anyone in town will ever allow them to have creative freedom after this.
On a deeper level, the 9/11-type threats are not to be taken lightly, either. Rogen and Franco seem like decent guys, so they are likely worried about the safety of their fans who have been waiting to watch their new release. The only thing worse than their creative project never seeing the light of day is people getting hurt, or worse, because they go to see it.
Some sadness and anger also has to be present in Franco and Rogen. Months, possibly even years, of their lives were spent working on this project. Though some non-fans may disagree, the medium is still Franco and Rogen’s art and, in essence, their life. It has to sting a little to realize they made a huge uh-oh and it’s all for naught.