Sony Altering ‘The Interview’ To Ensure North Korea Doesn’t Try To Kill Us All

Not long ago, we brought you news that Sony had decided to move the release of their Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy, The Interview, from October to Christmas Day. The move was said to be made after the studio realized the late December date would potentially yield higher revenue, but a story from THR today has us believing something else may have caused the delay.

According to reports, Sony Pictures is currently digitally manipulating The Interview in order to appease North Korea. One change is very small, but the other could very well change the film’s climax altogether. Needless to say, some potential spoilers follow…

The first area of The Interview where Sony is apparently making changes involves the uniforms being worn by North Korean officials. Apparently, the ones seen in the film as it is now are the actual buttons “worn by the North Korean military to honor the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, 31, and his late father, Kim Jong Il.” This might not be a big deal to anyone outside North Korea, but it’s a big deal to them, and every nation in the world is willing to bend over backwards to make sure Jong Un does not throw a nuclear themed hissy fit.

The second and far more interesting change being discussed involves the complete removal of a scene in which ”the face of Kim Jong Un (played by Randall Park) is melted off graphically in slow motion.” I like to call this the film’s Raiders moment, and before news of the potential change broke today no one in the general public (or press, for that matter) seemed to know it existed. Now that we do, however, I WANT TO SEE IT. Over two decades have passed since Raiders Of The Lost Ark, and in that time very few films have offered face melting moments as powerful or visceral as the one we all remember seeing shortly after the Nazis opened the ark. The Interview could possess the updated take on that moment we have all unknowingly been waiting for, but if changes are made it may never see the light of day. Re-shoots will happen, new sequences will be written, and the face melt will simply become part of Hollywood legend.

A lot of the pressure to make these changes is reportedly coming from Sony Japan, in the interest of improving and maintaining relations with its nearby neighbor. There’s always a chance several changes could be made to international versions of the film that never make their way into the cut we see here in the US, but given the tension North Korea has created in the world over the last decade or so I think it’s safe to assume whatever is cut from one will be cut from them all.

Neither Seth Rogen or co-star James Franco have commented on these latest developments, and truth be told I doubt they will say anything about them anytime in the immediate future. If Sony wants this release to go off without a hitch (or world war), they have to proceed with caution. It sucks, and in the end it’s the audience who will ultimately suffer if the original vision for the film must be altered, but it’s the way things have to be.

The Interview opens Christmas Day. We’ll bring you more on the edits and rumored cuts as soon as additional information becomes available.

James Shotwell
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