Sony Pictures plans on altering parts of the movie “The Interview” to avoid offending North Korea’s government.
Up until recently, everyone enjoyed making fun of North Korea and how upset the country got after seeing the trailer for the upcoming Seth Rogen movie, “The Interview“. But, it may be a lot easier for everyone to make fun of the upcoming feature film than Sony Pictures’ Japanese owners, who actually live near North Korea.
Earlier this year, North Korea’s government called Seth Rogen’s new feature film “The Interview” an act of war. A spokesman for the ministry said in state-run media that releasing the movie would be an “Act of war” on the United States’ behalf and claimed that the DPRK would take “stern” and “merciless” retaliation if it is not banned, according to the Associated Press.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony plans on making certain changes to the movie in hopes not to offend North Korea’s government. One of the changes Sony plans on making is changing buttons used by the characters in the movie.
Sources say the studio is digitally altering thousands of buttons worn by characters in the film — which on Aug. 8 was pushed from October to a prime Dec. 25 release — because they depict the actual hardware worn by the North Korean military to honor the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, 31, and his late father, Kim Jong Il (showcasing military decorations would be considered blasphemous to the nuclear-armed nation).
In addition, Sony plans on changing certain plot elements to the movie. Including a major scene in the feature film.
The film, about a pair of TV journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate the North Korean despot, has become a hot potato for the studio, which is owned by Japan’s Sony Corp. (the country recently has taken steps to ease tensions with its enemy to the West after decades of icy relations). Sources say the studio is considering cutting a scene in which the face of Kim Jong Un (played by Randall Park) is melted off graphically in slow motion. Although studio sources insist that Sony Japan isn’t exerting pressure, the move comes in the wake of provocative comments from Pyongyang that the film’s concept “shows the desperation of the U.S. government and American society.”
A source close to Sony’s decision-making says the move to alter the hardware was precipitated by “clearance issues,” particularly because it involves a living person, Kim Jong Un. As for the face-melting scene, this person says the filmmakers are just trying to gauge whether it’s funny. [THR]
When movies are released internationally, what may be funny to one group of people may be considered offensive in other parts of the world. Now, Sony will have to test thousands of people and see if certain parts of the movie are considered funny or not.