Deadline reports that Sony Pictures has officially scrapped its planned theatrical release and distribution of The Interview.
The news comes shortly after the decision of several theater chains not to run the film, following threats from hackers evoking the memory of the 9/11 attacks, threatening violence against any who attended screenings of the James Franco and Seth Rogen comedy about a journalist and producer sent to North Korea by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
The film, originally scheduled for release on December 25, was reportedly the cause of the Sony email hacks that brought a massive amount of information — both personal and professional — into the public sphere. The hack is one of the biggest breaches of Hollywood security in the modern era, and information from the emails continue to come to light.
Rogen’s current project is a television adaptation of Preacher for AMC with Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin, which has gotten a pilot order.
Sony’s official statement on the cancellation can be read below.
In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned December 25 theatrical release. We respect and understand our partners’ decision and, of course, completely share their paramount interest in the safety of employees and theater-goers.
Sony Pictures has been the victim of an unprecedented criminal assault against our employees, our customers, and our business. Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale – all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by this outcome.
UPDATE 12/17/2014 4:27 PM PT: Deadline reports that Sony has “no further release plans” for The Interview, even on home video or video-on-demand.