All the insanity surrounding Sony’s semi-canceled film The Interview has dominated headlines the past week, but the mind behind Game of Thrones has a solution — and we actually kind of dig it.
The Seth Rogen comedy about a fictional plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was the catalyst behind the massive Sony hack, with the terrorists threatening to attack theaters that showed the film. Major theater chains pulled out, and Sony canceled the film’s Christmas Day opening and is currently exploring options for an eventual release (one rumored option is Sony’s VOD service Crackle).
Well, George R.R. Martin has a few ideas for how to fix this mess. The author and theater owner has posted a statement calling out Sony for (seemingly) caving to the demands, adding that his privately owned theater The Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, N.M., would be happy to screen the film if it were made available — and he bets a lot of other indie theaters would do the same.
Here’s an excerpt from his call to arms:
I mean, really? REALLY?? These gigantic corporations, most of which could buy North Korea with pocket change, are declining to show a film because Kim Jong-Un objects to being mocked?
The level of corporate cowardice here astonishes me. It's a good thing these guys weren't around when Charlie Chaplin made THE GREAT DICTATOR. If Kim Jong-Un scares them, Adolf Hitler would have had them shitting in their smallclothes.
Even Sony, which made the movie, is going along. There are thousands of small independent theatres across the country, like my own, that would gladly screen THE INTERVIEW, regardless of the threats from North Korea, but instead of shifting the film to those venues, Sony has cancelled its scheduled Christmas rollout entirely.
I haven't seen THE INTERVIEW. I have no idea how good or bad a film it is. It might be hilarious. It might be stupid and offensive and outrageous. (Actually, I am pretty sure about the 'outrageous' part). It might be all of the above.
That's not the point, though. Whether it's the next CITIZEN KANE or the next PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, it astonishes me that a major Hollywood film could be killed before release by threats from a foreign power and anonymous hackers.
For what it's worth, the Jean Cocteau Cinema will be glad to screen THE INTERVIEW (assuming that Sony does eventually release the film for theatrical exhibition, rather than streaming it or dumping it as a direct-to-DVD release), should it be made available to us. Come to Santa Fe, Seth, we'll show your film for you.”
Good for Martin for taking a stand on the issue, and here’s hoping his words won’t fall on deaf ears at Sony. At this point, a VOD release seems like the most likely scenario — but why not make the film available theatrically at the same time, for any theater that is interested in showing it? Obviously, the box-office haul would mean more money, and it’d be an interesting experiment of a mixed-media release.
What do you think? Would you like to see some indie theaters show the film at some point?
(Via Entertainment Weekly)