Following earlier reports indicating “9/11 style” threats against theaters showing the upcoming James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy The Interview, Sony Pictures may take action to remove the movie from theaters that are concerned to carry it. This all comes despite claims from Homeland Security that bring the validity of the threats into question. From Deadline:
“We’re leaving it up to the discretion of the theater owners and chains and we will support their decision,” a well-placed source at Sony confirmed to Deadline.
Hackers threatened moviegoers who see the Seth Rogen and James Franco film in a message Tuesday morning, prompting Sony and exhibitors to scramble into emergency discussions on how to handle the new risk to the public.
Additional information from The Hollywood Reporter reveals that theaters have discussed other options in light of Tuesday’s threats, including increased security:
The situation appears to be very fluid: Neither the National Association of Theatre Owners nor the individual national theaters chains have yet publicly spoken about the situation. But according to some insiders, exhibitors are wary of becoming liable if they show the movie and any violence occurs.
The discussions have also involved requests from theater owners that Sony provide heavy security if they do go ahead and play the film. At the same time, some feel that Sony is throwing the decision about whether or not to show the movie into their laps when the studio itself should be making that call.
It’s truly a tight situation, especially considering recent events around the globe, the Aurora theater shootings in Colorado, and just the general climate of the world at the moment. Even if the threats are fake, there’s that what if possibility that exists and that might be enough for theaters to want precautions.
Who knows what will happen between now and Christmas Day, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated.
UPDATE: Carmike Theaters has already dropped out of showing the film.