The Interview movie may have gone through a lot, but it is now showing online, thanks to the collaboration of Google, Microsoft and Sony Pictures. Sony has been contacting several companies last week to ask if they will be able to show the movie. Google agreed, and so did Microsoft.
Google makes The Interview available online starting at 10a.m. Wednesday, December 24. People can rent or buy the film on YouTube Movies and Google Play. It is also available in Xbox Videos or through its dedicated website at www.seetheinterview.com. For now, the film’s online availability is in the United States and Canada.
The Interview is about two journalists, the characters of Seth Rogen and James Franco, who were granted an audience with Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader. The CIA then met the duo and assigned them to assassinate the NK president.
North Korea called it an “act of war,” and the families of NK soldiers say it hurts the dignity of their supreme leadership. Sony Pictures was hacked and experienced a series of devastating expose of its private information which includes its employees’ salaries, emails and films still to be released – putting the company and its employees in a grueling nightmare. Guardians of Peace, is what the hackers call themselves.
There were suspicions that NK has something to do with the attack, but the country denied it, though it calls the act “righteous.” The Interview has been linked with the notorious hack attack and when it was about to be released, the cyber attackers threatened to assault cinemas which will show the film on its release on Christmas Day.
Many cinemas backed off and Sony cancelled the release. While the hackers call the move to be wise, U.S. President Obama criticized it, saying it poses a dangerous precedent where some dictators can impose censorship in the country. Just think what they will do if they see a news report or documentary that they do not like, the president said.
However, Sony Pictures does not intend to hide the film, and is seeing some outlets to release it while a hundred of independent cinemas in the U.S. offered to show the title. With Google and Microsoft helping, The Interview is now showing online, costing $5.99 to rent and $14.99 to buy. CEO Michael Lynton of Sony Entertainment Chairman disclosed it was really their intention to have a national platform on which the movie will be released.
Not long after it went live, The Interview website was inaccessible, most likely because of heavy traffic. With the notorious cyber attack and the drama of its release, the film is predicted to get the biggest download ever seen in a movie. North Korea will likely be furious, but the movie available online can be the start of future film releases – in cinemas and online.
Another interesting thing is that people who rented the film online for 48 hours can share the link with others and can get an unprotected copy via an obvious loophole, as confirmed by The Verge. Kernel, the site that powers The Interview’s digital rentals tweeted it is currently working on a fix.
With The Interview now showing online with several services involved, Sony manages not only the crowd flocking to the movie, but also the stress of any possible hack attack. Competent hackers can knock off online services once, but not likely Sony, Google and Microsoft at the same time.
By Judith Aparri
Photo courtesy of Tom Magliery – Flickr License