The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Ashburn says it will screen the hacker-inspiring comedy The Interview starting Thursday after Sony Pictures decided to release the controversial film after all. The Interview, if you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, stars Seth Rogen and James Franco as American television journalists who land an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un and are then asked by the CIA to turn the scoop into an assassination mission.
The plot summary inspired a massive data breach at Sony, which federal officials believe to be the handiwork of real-life North Korean operatives. Sony had planned to give The Interview a wide release on Christmas, but shelved it after the hackers behind the Sony attack threatened to attack movie theaters that showed it. Most major cinema chains canceled their screenings of the film, even though there were never any credible threats against US movie theaters, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
The Interview—which, if Rogen and Franco’s previous works are any guide, will probably just be two hours of weed and dick jokes—came off the shelf following an uproar from independent theater operators, including Tim League, the founder of the Austin, Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse brand. West End Cinema owner Josh Levin also spouted off on Facebook that he signed his name to a petition from independent theaters willing to show the film.
Screenings of The Interview begin 10:20 AM on Thursday. Tickets are available on the Alamo’s website.
UPDATE, 6:32 PM: Good news, fans of global intrigue-stoking comedies. You no longer have to drive all the way to Loudoun County to see The Interview. West End Cinema’s Josh Levin confirms in an e-mail that his theater will also start playing the film on Christmas.
Levin, who was one of scores of independent cinema operators to sign a petition to Sony, there’s a “certain irony” that his 75-seat theater will be one of a handful of movie houses to debut a $44 million, major-studio picture that was supposed to be released on thousands of big-chain screens.
“An ultra-wide release is now getting ultra-limited release,” Levin says.
West End Cinema will run The Interview at 2:30 and 8:20 PM for eight days through January 1, with the possibility of it being extended. Tickets will be available on West End Cinema’s website.
Find Benjamin Freed on Twitter at @brfreed.