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Hollywood has never made a great movie about North Korea, and now it’s uncertain whether it ever will. It was close, though. Unlike the mediocre Rogen/Franco comedy at the center of this hurricane, Pyongyang, the planned film adaptation of cartoonist Guy Delisle’s nonfiction comic book Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea, could have been a work of art. But now it’s lost to us forever.Director Gore Verbinski was helming the project, and Steve Conrad had written the screenplay. New Regency was producing it. It was to star Steve Carell as an unusual protagonist based on Delisle: an animator visiting one of North Korea’s little-discussed animation studios. What little we know about the movie suggests Verbinski and Conrad had sexed up the plot from Delisle’s original nonfiction narrative: The Wrap reported it was to be “a paranoid thriller about a Westerner’s experiences »
- Abraham Riesman
North Korea recently broke into the computers of Sony Pictures and leaked lots of internal documents. The attackers then released a statement, threatening violence against anyone going to see "The Interview" comedy in theaters. The studio and major theater chains immediately canceled all showings of the movie. And now comes word that other studios are now canceling their own projects that focus on North Korea. 20th Century Fox and New Regency recently greenlit "Pyongyang," a new film that was set to begin filming in March with Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) directing and Steve Carell starring. Fox has now decided to abandon the project. Verbinski responded to the decision: "Getting the facts straight: Yesterday, I was told by New Regency and Fox that Fox will no longer be distributing the film. Prior to that, the film was greenlit and fully funded by New Regency with Fox distributing. I have »
Updated, 4:49 Pm: Pen American Center today expressed “profound regret” about Sony’s choice not to release The Interview on any platform. The group of 3,500 American writers who support free expression worldwide also called out New Regency for axing the planned North Korea-set film Pyongyang, which was to be directed by Gore Verbinski and star Steve Carell. “Pen has long documented the chilling effect that threats or acts of violence can have on free speech and creative expression,” the group said in a statement today. “The chilling effect of Sony’s decision has already been felt throughout the entertainment industry with New Regency’s cancellation of plans for the film Pyongyang. Complete suppression of the film would set a dangerous and deeply troubling precedent for other artists considering work on potentially controversial or offensive subjects. Pen urges Sony Pictures to release The Interview through every channel that does not pose a safety risk, »
- David Robb
The escalating situation surrounding Sony’s decision to pull The Interview from movie theatres continues to spiral out of control. With the fate of that movie in limbo, impromptu screenings of the satirical puppet comedy Team America: World Police, sprang up across the country. Sadly, they too have now been pulled.
In the wake of a message from cyberterrorist organization Guardians Of Peace, in which the cell threatened violence on any movie theater showing The Interview, all major movie theater chains in the U.S. yanked the movie from their slates. As a result of this move, Sony then opted to halt the release of the movie altogether. While many assumed it would make its way to audiences via VOD, that too has now been ruled out.
In an attempt to show solidarity and not let those responsible believe they had triumphed, a handful of independent movie theaters across the U. »
- Gem Seddon
And the ramifications of North Korea's hack of Sony keep spreading outward to other studios. First, Sony pulled their release of Seth Rogen and James Franco's "The Interview," not long after, New Regency and Fox announced they were cancelling the planned Gore Verbinski and Steve Carell picture "Pyongyang," and now Paramount is swooping in to avoid potentially ruffling an North Korean feathers. In response to Sony yanking "The Interview," a small handful of theaters—Capitol Theater in Cleveland, Plaza Atlanta in Atlanta, and the Alamo Drafthouse in Dallas—revealed they would instead screen Trey Parker and Matt Stone's hilariously wrong puppet comedy "Team America: World Police." It's a fitting replacement, with the plot centering on a maniacal Kim Jong-il, who, among other things, sings a song called "I'm So Ronery," gets impaled, and is revealed to be an alien from another planet. Ten years ago, this was deemed acceptable. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
On the one hand, the holiday box office may get a boost (THR assesses the box office impact here), as Peter Jackson's third and ultimate "Hobbit" film opened Wednesday to $24.5 million. That's balm to exhibitors and an industry shell-shocked as it found itself the object of real threats — not just immediate but also longer-term — as its vulnerability to terror threats, long known within the business, became clear. Read: Four Reasons Why Theaters Should Play 'The Interview' This has serious implications going ahead, not only for movies but for all forms of potentially controversial expression. Reaction from the media and public has been largely negative -- free speech lawyer Alan Dershowitz calls it "Pearl Harbor on the First Amendment" -- but in fairness, theater owners were under enormous pressure once the direct threat was made. As horrifying as possible repercussions will be--and immediate, as director Gore Verbinski's North Korean-set. »
- Tom Brueggemann
This is why we can't have nice things when people give into terrorism. Terrorism wants us to be afraid, and fear causes people to make bad decisions. Movie theaters—places where people are already reluctant to go for a variety of reasons—pulled The Interview following non-credible threats from the cyber-terrorists who attacked Sony. Sony subsequently canceled the film's release, and after slightly mulling over a VOD release, decided against it with no further plans for release (passing on VOD may have been a way to collect on the insurance). These are bad decisions that can set a dangerous precedent and ramifications. We already saw a glimpse of it yesterday with New Regency canceling the Gore Verbinski comedy Pyongyang. The Alamo Drafthouse responded to being unable to show The Interview by making the good decision to show another comedy that poked fun at North Korea, Team America: World Police, a »
- Matt Goldberg
Yesterday Sony made the decision to pull The Interview from release in the wake of terror threats against moviegoers stemming from the Guardians of Peace hack into the studio a couple of weeks back, and now the effects are starting to be felt around Hollywood.
No doubt fearing a repeat of the Sony incident, New Regency has decided to scrap an untitled North Korea-based thriller from director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lone Ranger), which he was developing as a vehicle for Steve Carell (Foxcatcher).
Reacting to the decision, Verbinski posted the following statement about the project, which he said was to be entitled Pyongyang:
Getting the facts straight:
Yesterday, I was told by New Regency and Fox that Fox will no longer be distributing the film. Prior to that, the film was green lit and fully funded by New Regency with Fox distributing. I have been »
- Gary Collinson
In the aftermath of Sony Pictures canceling the Christmas Day release of their new comedy The Interview yesterday, 20th Century Fox also announced that they will not be distributing an untitled project that will be set in North Korea, entitled Pyongyang, which had Gore Verbinski set to direct and Steve Carell attached to star. Director Gore Verbinski issued a statement to Deadline, where he shed new light on the events that transpired between 20th Century Fox and New Regency, which had financed the film. Take a look at his statement below.
Getting the facts straight: Yesterday, I was told by New Regency and Fox that Fox will no longer be distributing the film. Prior to that, the film was green lit and fully funded by New Regency with Fox distributing. I have been told in no uncertain words that based on the situation at Sony, Fox has now decided to not distribute the film. »
With all of the craziness going on in the world today, specifically the fallout from the cancellation of The Interview, shockwaves continue to echo and affect movie productions. First it was Steve Carell and Gore Verbinski's thriller Pyongyang and now we see how Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 is being hit. Director James Gunn shared a list of potential candidates who could be Star-Lord's father in Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 on Instagram and you can clearly see that North Korea has eliminated one »
- Alex Maidy
It looks like Hollywood will be staying out of North Korea for the foreseeable future. The Sony cyber attack that compromised terabytes of sensitive documents for the company and led to the cancellation of its controversial comedy The Interview has claimed another victim – New Regency and Fox have quietly scrapped plans to distribute Pyongyang, a thriller set in the rogue nation.
The thriller, set up as a star vehicle for Foxcatcher actor Steve Carell by Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski, would have explored the paranoia of life inside North Korea. Though New Regency was apparently a big fan of the project, insiders have revealed that the studio simply didn’t feel comfortable proceeding with it in the current cultural climate.
Pyongyang‘s cancellation has made less headlines than Sony’s decision not to go ahead with the December 25th release of The Interview, but both are indicative of »
- Isaac Feldberg
In the wake of the cancellation of next week's release of "The Interview," studios developing projects involving North Korea are having serious second thoughts about the subject.
20th Century Fox and New Regency have already made a decision and have opted not to proceed with "Pyongyang" which had Gore Verbinski set to direct and Steve Carell attached to star. Production was aiming to begin in March.
In the wake of the cancellation, Verbinski himself issued the following statement to Deadline:
"Getting the facts straight: Yesterday, I was told by New Regency and Fox that Fox will no longer be distributing the film. Prior to that, the film was green lit and fully funded by New Regency with Fox distributing.
I have been told in no uncertain words that based on the situation at Sony, Fox has now decided to not distribute the film. Without a distributor, New Regency was forced to shut the film down. »
- Garth Franklin
The cast members of The Interview aren't the only actors feeling the heat after the Sony cyberattack. A film starring Steve Carell that is set in North Korea has now been scrapped. The film was to be a "paranoid thriller" based on the graphic novel Pyongyang and had director Gore Verbinski attached to it. The abandonment of the project comes after threats of a terror attack halted the Christmas release of The Interview, whose comedic plot revolved around actors Seth Rogen and James Franco being sent to murder North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. »
After weeks of (well-founded) speculation that North Korea was responsible for the hack that's currently crippling Sony studios, the United States government has confirmed that it believes the country is indeed behind the act.
U.S. officials told NBC News that "the hacking attack originated outside North Korea, but they believe the individuals behind it were acting on orders from the North Koreans." NBC also reports that U.S. government sources revealed that they "have found linkage to the North Korean government," though the sources declined to reveal what actions the U.S. government is weighing in retaliation.
Over the past few weeks, Sony has been the victim of an ongoing leak of sensitive information (including employees' Social Security numbers, passwords, and personal emails) and property (including multiple unreleased films such as the upcoming "Annie" remake). It is believed that the hack was in retaliation for "The Interview," the comedy »
- Katie Roberts
In light of Sony's hack scandal, New Regency is spiking its own North Korea–set project. Deadline reports that Pyongyang, which had Gore Verbinski attached as its director and Steve Carell as its star, was going to begin filming in March. Steve Conrad was working on the script, based on a graphic novel of the same name, in which a French-Canadian animator moves to North Korea, where he's accused of espionage. After Sony received terror threats tied to the release of The Interview earlier this week, Fox reportedly changed its mind about distributing Pyongyang — a move that proved to be crippling.A frustrated Verbinski told Deadline via email: Getting the facts straight:Yesterday, I was told by New Regency and Fox that Fox will no longer be distributing the film. Prior to that, the film was green lit and fully funded by New Regency with Fox distributing. I have been told »
- Sean Fitz-Gerald
When Sony announced that it was pulling The Interview from a theatrical release, it wasn't long after that Pyongyang, the North Korean thriller to be directed by Gore Verbinski (Pirates Of The Caribbean, The Ring) and starring Steve Carell, was shut down before production was to begin in March. While the film was to be distributed by Fox, evidently no risks were to be made on their part. There's no need to second guess, however, as both Verbinski and Carell has responded to the cancellation »
- Sean Wist
"We don't negotiate with terrorists." This is a phrase that has been uttered in countless movies and by actual U.S. Presidents such as George W. Bush himself, and has long stood as a symbol for American values. Today that maxim has failed us. In an unprecedented move, Sony Pictures officially canceled the Christmas Day release of The Interview. This came just one day after a group of hackers known as the Guardians of Peace (G.O.P.) threatened a 9/11 attack on movie theaters showing the upcoming comedy, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. The statement sent shockwaves throughout Hollywood, the first time a major American release was ever canceled due to terrorist threats. Sadly, not only did the Hollywood system fail the American public by giving in to these terrorists demands, which is even worse than "negotiating" with them, but it begs the question: what precedent will this set? »
Here's a further ramification of the fallout from the Sony hack: a new Steve Carell thriller, that was to be set in North Korea, has been abandoned.
This comes after Sony Pictures confirmed that it had cancelled the release of the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy The Interview, following a terror threat against those who intended to see it in cinemas. The roots of the threat, and the hack that Sony has been on the receiving end on, apparently point back to North Korea, whose authorities had objected strenuously to The Interview.
Now, giving a further victory to the hackers/cyberterrorists, the thus-far unnamed Steve Carell-headlined thriller is unlikely to go ahead. Production company New Regency had put the film together, which Gore Verbinski »
An untitled Steve Carell movie project set in North Korea has been cancelled in response to cyber attacks at Sony Pictures.
The studio has been hit by several high-profile hacks in the run-up to the release of Seth Rogen's controversial comedy The Interview, which has now been pulled following terrorist threats from a group known as 'Guardians of Peace'.
According to Deadline, New Regency has decided to scrap its latest project set in the country under the circumstances.
Verbinski is locked in a multipicture deal with New Regency, so will instead focus on other projects, including a horror called A Cure For Wellness.
North Korea has denied being involved in the massive Sony hack, but previously threatened "merciless retaliation" if the film was released.
However, several »
We might as well all pack up and go home, because at the moment the bad-guys are winning. The repercussions of Sony.s hacking are now starting to be felt around the movie industry, as New Regency has announced that work on Steve Carell.s potential new film set in North Korea had now been stopped. At the time of its cancellation, the project was being developed for Gore Verbinski to direct with Steve Carell was going to play the lead. Steve Conrad, who has previously written The Weather Man, The Pursuit Of Happyness and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, had scribed what's been described as a paranoid thriller. In fact, production had already been pencilled in for March. But the recent hacking of Sony and the consequent threats to any screening of The Interview has led New Regency to decide that there wasn.t any point in making »
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