Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg sat down with Variety to talk a bit about the odyssey behind getting The Interview to the public. Leading up to its Christmas release, eventual cancellation, and stunning revival, promotion for the movie was at high tide. Rogen and James Franco were all over the place and the controversy for the film seemed pretty far away. The reality was a bit different. From Variety:
Despite the fact that Sony Pictures chiefs Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton were supportive of the project, Rogen and Goldberg took the script, which was originally titled “Kill Kim Jong Un,” to a team of comedians and actors including Jonah Hill and Sacha Baron Cohen for an outside opinion…
Rogen and Goldberg said that it “seemed wrong” to back away from depicting Kim Jong-un in the movie. “That would be like saying, ‘Don’t make fun of Hitler because it’ll piss off Hitler.’ Because Hitler’s power comes from people being too afraid of Hitler to stop Hitler from being such a Hitler. And instead of our film looking back on past events, it could actually tackle something current.”
Rogen and Golberg also opened up a bit about the hacking scandal that almost shelved the movie for good, and how it felt once they found out the film would be released in some capacity:
“For a moment it truly seemed possible that our movie might just cease to exist,” they said. “It seemed like a rash decision born out of fear. It was disappointing that the immediate reaction was to do exactly what the criminals wanted.
“We felt it was important to make it available to any theater that wished to. Even if ultimately nobody showed it, we felt it was an important statement to make for our film and for freedom of speech. They assured us it would be released,” they added.
They also added that President Obama’s involvement was “surreal,” which it was even to someone on my level. After seeing the movie and letting it digest, it’s safe to say that the controversy was blown out of proportion. It’s a tough sell, but not tough enough to ban out of safety concerns.