Sony Pictures

Seth Rogen’s comedy about the fictional assassination of real-life North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un will not get its day in court, or theaters, as it were.

The four biggest cinema chains in the country and then some had decided not to show the film before Sony decided not to release it. After an embarrassing hack, new threats emerged that explicitly cited the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and warned Sony not to release “The Interview.”

U.S. intelligence officials, speaking to the press anonymously, have confirmed the long-held suspicion that North Korea was behind the attack.

And while this drama plays out in Hollywood (or, more accurately, Culver City) and Washington, D.C., the issue is much more sensitive at Sony HQ in Japan. Think about it this way: The distance from Los Angeles to Pyongyang is almost 6,000 miles. The distance from Tokyo is a mere 800 miles.

According to The New York Times, Japanese officials are concerned that a formal accusation of cyberterrorism by the United States would screw up already difficult negotiations for the release of Japanese captives held by North Korea.

Maybe all this calamity does something for “The Interview.” They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, after all. As of this posting, the movie gets 50 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with the advice to skip it. At the same time, 96 percent of those who clicked said they want to see it.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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