Amid the cancellation of The Interview‘s Christmas release date, a couple of deleted Kim Jong-un death-scene GIFs have been leaked to the public. But while still quite gruesome, they are much tamer than the original versions.
The new scenes, which have been heavily edited to avoid any further outcries from worried executives, are now making the rounds all over the internet in GIF form.
The scenes depict, in slow motion, the way in which notorious North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un gets killed in the movie, which is quite brutal. The clips detail how the feared leader stands in a helicopter’s door as a missile hits it dead-on, blowing Kim to bits.
Apparently, it’s now believed that the Sony hackers that leaked incriminating emails from Hollywood executive honchos Amy Pascal and Scott Rudin were North Koreans who acted in retaliation to The Interview film’s release.
“If there was one thing that triggered the embarrassing and fascinating Sony email leak,” Gawker’s Jordan Sargent wrote, “it might have been their decision to go forward with killing [Kim]… in the most gory way allowable.”
Meanwhile, the film’s Christmas release has now been canceled until further notice, even though Kim’s death scene has been softened up considerably. The original version depicted Kim being burned by the bomb’s heat, and showed his hair being scorched before his whole head exploded into fleshy chunks.
However, at the insistence of Sony’s Japan-based CEO Kazuo Hirai, and after a slew of back and forth emails, the scene was cleaned up and much of the gore taken out. Email conversations between Pascal, Hirai and Rogen depict the extent to which the scenes were changed and the crazy conversations that went on about the issue, including burning hair, exploding head chunks and facial contusions.
The end result is a considerably more subdued scene than the original, and it was so altered that it even got the star and producer of the film, Seth Rogen, quite upset over the whole ordeal.
“This is it!!!” Rogen said in an email after several big modifications had been made to Kim’s death. “We removed the fire from the hair and the entire secondary wave of head chunks. Please tell me this is over now. Thanks so much!!”
There’s still no word on when or if the film will be released soon in US theaters.