Dec 18 2014
Seth Rogen's The Interview will not be released next week as planned, Sony Pictures Entertainment has confirmed.
Sony's decision to pull the film comes after six major cinema chains in North America vowed not to show Seth Rogen's controversial new comedy The Interview in the wake of a terror threat. On-demand or DVD releases are also not being planned.
Film conglomerate Sony Pictures said on Wednesday (December 17): "In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the 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."
The Interview has been embroiled in controversy over the last month, due to its impact on a cyber attack levied against Sony in November.
A group known as 'Guardians of Peace' recently took responsibility for a hack attack that breached Sony's computer systems, with the group claiming that it was motivated by objections to Rogen's comedy about the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
A statement from Guardians of Peace released yesterday (December 16) invoked the 9/11 terror attacks in warning ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Seth Rogen has said that he is not entirely sure if his controversial new comedy The Interview is directly responsible for the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack.
A group known as 'Guardians of Peace' have suggested that they are responsible for the Sony breach, and vowed to continue releasing damaging information unless The Interview's release is halted.
The film centres on an assassination plot against North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, who is played in The Interview by Randall Park.
North Korea's government has promised retaliation if the movie is released, but also denied being directly involved in the Sony hack.
Rogen addressed the matter on Good Morning America: "I can't definitively say I know the ramifications of the storm. I mean, I don't know if the hacking honestly is because of our movie, definitively or not.
"I know that it has been the centre of a lot of media attention lately. It is weird because we just wanted to make a really funny, entertaining movie and the movie itself is very silly and wasn't meant to be controversial in any way."
Rogen went on to say that he made The Interview because of his fascination with North Korea's "bizarre" society, while co-star James Franco pointed out that the movie also pokes fun at American culture.
"At this point, it's too late to have any [second thoughts]. I mean, no, I think again, I like the movie. I can't in my head over-connect everything surrounding it with the movie itself," Rogen explained when asked if he had any regrets about the film.
He went on to say: "When I've seen the movie with 30-plus audiences in 30-plus movie theatres and every time, they really like it, that's what I have to keep coming back to.
"We set out to make a movie that was really entertaining to audiences and I genuinely ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Brad Pitt has spoken out about the recent Sony leaks.
The actor compared hacking email to hacking phones, and said that he believes people "shouldn't be participating" in the recent spate of cyber attacks.
A number of emails between Sony executives have recently been leaked in a large-scale hacking. One exchange saw Pitt's wife Angelina Jolie labelled a "minimally-talented spoiled brat" by Scott Rudin.
Speaking to Access Hollywood at the Unbroken premiere in Los Angeles last night (December 15), Pitt said: "I don't see a difference in News Corp hacking phone calls and hacking emails. I don't think we should be able to participate.
"I think someone's conversation, whether in e-mail or in person, should be private. We shouldn't be participating and these sites that are disseminating them should stop. They won't."
He added: "And we should stop reading them. We won't. It's more of an indictment on us, I think."
Friends Lisa Kudrow also recently spoke about the cyber attacks on Sony, saying that people should not write anything they wouldn't want to be publicly broadcast.
JK Simmons has joined the cast of Kong: Skull Island.
He will appear alongside Tom Hiddleston in director Jordan Vogt-Roberts's King Kong prequel, reports Deadline.
The film will follow a team of explorers who venture deep into the mysterious and dangerous home of the king of the apes.
Simmons has experienced a surge in popularity since his acclaimed appearance opposite Miles Teller in Whiplash.
Universal Pictures recently delayed Skull Island from November 4, 2016 to avoid a clash with Marvel's Doctor Strange and Fox's Trolls.
Kong: Skull Island will now arrive on March 10, 2017.
Dwayne Johnson has teased his role as Black Adam in Warner Bros' Shazam.
The actor extolled the virtues and vices of the DC Comics supervillain on Twitter.
The film was confirmed when Warner unveiled its upcoming superhero slate in October.
Other films due to be released up until 2020 are Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg, Suicide Squad and two Justice League movies.
Johnson had previously said that he was undecided on playing Black Adam or the hero Shazam in the movie.
The villain Black Adam has sometimes been portrayed as an anti-hero that wishes the best for his country and family but is willing to go to extreme lengths to achieve his goals.
Shazam will be released in 2019.
Sony has postponed a press junket for Kevin Hart's The Wedding Ringer following the hacking scandal.
Interviews with Hart were originally planned to take place in Los Angeles this weekend (December 13, 14) but Sony's Screen Gems decided to reschedule them for a later date.
The New York Daily News reports that it was scheduled to take part in the junket, but was told by Sony that the studio cancelled the event because it wanted to "focus on the movie" and not the email hacking.
The cancelled junket follows several leaked emails, one of which involves the Screen Gems president allegedly calling Hart a "whore".
The email chain in question is between Clint Culpepper and Sony executives Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton, with the trio unhappy that Hart wanted more money for advertising The Wedding Ringer using social media.
"I'm not saying he's a [money] whore, but he's a whore," Culpepper apparently wrote.
Kevin Hart responded to the leak on his Instagram account, saying he has "worked very hard" to get where he is today.
The Wedding Ringer stars Hart, Frozen's Josh Gad and Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting.
Dec 18 2014
Exodus: Gods and Kings has topped the US box office.
The Ridley Scott epic claimed $24.5m to knock The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 off the top spot.
ockingjay is down to two with $13.2, while animated spin-off Penguins of Madagascar is at three with $7.3.
Top Five is new at four, while Disney Pixar's Big Hero 6 is down one place to five.
Interstellar is at six, while comedy sequel Horrible Bosses 2 is at seven.
Dumb and Dumber To is at eight with $2.8m, while The Theory of Everything and Reese Witherspoon's Wild round out the Top 10.
The US weekend box office Top 10 for December 14 (studio estimates, all figures in US dollars) is as follows:
1. (-) Exodus: Gods and Kings - $24,500,000
2. (1) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 - $13,200,000
3. (2) Penguins of Madagascar - $7,300,000
4. (-) Top Five - $7,210,000
5. (4) Big Hero 6 - $6,145,000
6. (5) Interstellar - $5,500,000
7. (3) Horrible Bosses 2 - $4,630,000
8. (6) Dumb and Dumber To - $2,757,000
9. (7) The Theory of Everything - $2,525,000
10. (15) Wild - $1,550,000
The producers of the new James Bond movie Spectre have confirmed that an early version of the screenplay was among material leaked in the Sony hacking.
Sony Pictures' Entertainment's servers were breached on November 25, with numerous confidential emails and information about major Hollywood movies, deals and stars leaked in subsequent weeks.
"Eon Productions, the producers of the James Bond films, learned this morning (Saturday, December 13) that an early version of the screenplay for the new Bond film Spectre is amongst the material stolen and illegally made public by hackers who infiltrated the Sony Pictures Entertainment computer system," reads a statement on the movie's official website.
Eon Productions is concerned that third parties who have received the stolen screenplay may seek to publish it or its contents.
"The screenplay for Spectre is the confidential information of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Danjaq LLC, and is protected by the laws of copyright in the United Kingdom and around the world. It may not (in whole or in part) be published, reproduced, disseminated or otherwise utilised by anyone who obtains a copy of it," the statement continues.
"Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Danjaq LLC will take all necessary steps to protect their rights against the persons who stole the screenplay, and against anyone who makes infringing uses of it or attempts to take commercial advantage of confidential property it knows to be stolen."
Material released by the hackers alleged that Spectre was already over budget by around $50m following moves to save money by the studio.
Principal photography on Spectre, directed by Skyfall's Sam Mendes, began on Monday (December 8).
Daniel Craig returns for his fourth outing as Bond, along with Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner, Ralph Fiennes as George Mallory/M, Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny and Ben Whishaw as Q.
New cast additions include Andrew Scott, Léa Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, David Bautista and ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Plot and setting details for Finding Dory have emerged at Comic Con Experience in Brazil.
According to Slashfilm (via Omelete), Pixar president Jim Morris revealed that the majority of the film will take place at the Marine Biology Institute of California, a large rehabilitation facility for marine life.
Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) will discover she was born there and freed into the ocean at a young age, which sets her off on a trip to find her parents.
Both Marlin (Albert Brooks) and Nemo will return in the sequel and make the journey with her - Willem Defoe will be returning too, but it is unclear in what capacity.
Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy have signed up to play the voices of Dory's parents.
Meanwhile, The Wire's Idris Elba and Dominic West will reunite and voice characters in the sequel.
Finding Dory has previously been delayed, and is now scheduled for release in the US on June 17, 2016.
Jeff Daniels is being considered for a role in the Steve Jobs biopic.
The Dumb and Dumber To star could be in line to play former Apple CEO John Sculley, according to The Wrap.
The project will be directed by Danny Boyle with a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin, who Daniels has collaborated with on The Newsroom.
Meanwhile, it is understood that Natalie Portman has passed on the role of Steve Jobs' daughter Joanna Hoffman following talks.
The biopic has already seen the loss of original star Christian Bale, and has moved to Universal from Sony .
Michael Fassbender is now attached to star as tech giant Jobs, with Seth Rogen in the role of Steve Wozniak - the co-founder of Apple Inc.
Leaked Sony emails have recently revealed that Sorkin wanted Tom Cruise for the role of Steve Jobs, and apparently claimed not to know who Fassbender was.