Merry Christmas, America: “The Interview” is now available to stream online.
The controversial Sony Pictures comedy, which had its wide theatrical release canceled last week after hackers calling themselves the Guardians of Peace threatened terrorist attacks on theaters screening the film, was released on YouTube Movies, Google PLay, Microsoft's Xbox Video and the Sony website seethinterview.com this morning at 10am PST. Users can stream the film for $5.99 and purchase it for $14.99.
“It has always been Sony”s intention to have a national platform on which to release this film,” said Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton in a statement. “With that in mind, we reached out to Google, Microsoft and other partners last Wednesday, December 17th, when it became clear our initial release plans were not possible. We are pleased we can now join with our partners to offer the film nationwide today.”
The development comes a day after Sony pacted with several hundred independent movie theaters to screen the film, which stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as a celebrity journalist and his producer who are sent on a mission to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Though Deadline is alleging that several of these theaters backed out after learning of the VOD plan, Sony is denying those reports.
Google's Chief Legal Officer and SVP of Corporate Development David Drummond wrote of his company's part in the rollout in a blog post published today:
“Last Wednesday Sony began contacting a number of companies, including Google, to ask if we”d be able to make their movie, 'The Interview,' available online. We'd had a similar thought and were eager to help-though given everything that”s happened, the security implications were very much at the front of our minds.
“Of course it was tempting to hope that something else would happen to ensure this movie saw the light of day. But after discussing all the issues, Sony and Google agreed that we could not sit on the sidelines and allow a handful of people to determine the limits of free speech in another country (however silly the content might be).”
Below are details on where and how to watch “The Interview”:
· Google Play: the movie is available to buy or rent at play.google.com, and can be watched in the Play Movies & TV app on Android and iOS phones or tablets, or streamed in the living room via Chromecast, Roku or the Nexus Player.
· YouTube: the movie is available at youtube.com/movies and can be watched on the web, in the YouTube app, or on select living room devices like Chromecast, Apple TV, PlayStation and Xbox.
· Microsoft”s Xbox Video: the movie is available to buy or rent on the Xbox Video app on Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and XboxVideo.com.
· SeetheInterview.com: In addition, The Interview is available at the dedicated website http://www.seetheinterview.com, which is sponsored by Sony Pictures and powered by Kernel and with payments through Stripe, a secure payment platform.