Add South Florida to the list of places you’ll be able to see the controversial Seth Rogen The Interview on Christmas Day.
The movie will start showing at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Swap Shop 13 Screen Drive-In Theater, 3291 Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. More than 200 other theaters across the country, including venues in Key West, Atlanta, Baltimore, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Dallas/Fort Worth among others, have also agreed to show the film.
Preston Henn, the owner of the landmark drive-in, says he had no reservations about booking the film, despite bomb threats made by a group of hackers backed by North Korea. “I wouldn’t be playing it if I did,” Henn said. “I’m a Republican, but I was very proud of what President [Barack] Obama said about the threats. Who’s afraid of that North Korean ass---- anyway?”
In The Interview, Rogen (who also co-wrote and co-directed the movie) and James Franco play celebrity journalists tasked by the CIA to assassinate North Korean president Kim Jong-un.
Sony Pictures, which financed the $44 million production and had planned to release it nationwide Dec. 25, became a victim of sophisticated hackers who leaked hundreds of private e-mails, documents and other sensitive materials from the company’s computers.
They also made several Sony films available to download for free, including Annie, Fury and Still Alice. The studio sought the help of the U.S. government while proceeding with its plan to distribute the movie.
But after the hackers, who call themselves “Guardians of Peace,” threatened to bomb theaters playing the film and mentioned 9/11, theater chains such as Regal Cinemas and AMC backed out of their agreement and nixed their bookings.
In their place, smaller, individually-owned theaters have stepped up and agreed to show the movie.
Sony is also trying to work out a plan to make the film available via video on demand.
“We have never given up on releasing The Interview and we’re excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day,” Sony chairman and CEO Michael Lynton said in a statement released Tuesday. “At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience.”