New York premiere of North Korea comedy canceled after threats
By Jim Finkle and Mark Hosenball
BOSTON (Reuters) - The New York premiere of "The Interview", a Sony Pictures comedy about the assassination of North Korean President Kim Jong-Un, has been canceled and a source said one theater chain had scrapped plans to show it, after threats from a hacking group.
The hackers, who said they were also responsible for seizing control of Sony Corp's computer system last month, on Tuesday warned people to stay away from cinemas showing the film starring James Franco and Seth Rogen, and darkly reminded moviegoers of the Sept. 11 hijacked plane attacks on the United States in 2001.
"We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time," the hackers wrote.
"(If your house is nearby, you'd better leave.)"
A spokeswoman for Landmark, which was to have hosted a premiere of the film at its Sunshine Cinema in Lower East Side, New York, on Thursday, said by email that the screening had been canceled, but did not explain why.
A Sony spokeswoman had no immediate comment on the threat.
Sony executives had earlier told theater owners it would not pull the film but added they would not object if they decided to cancel screenings, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
Carmike Cinemas, operator of 278 theaters in 41 states, informed Sony late on Tuesday that it would not show the film, the person said. Carmike executives were not immediately available for comment on Tuesday evening, a spokesman said. Continued...