'Tis the season for … an assassination comedy?
Seth Rogen and James Franco will unwrap their controversial North Korea-themed movie "The Interview" on Christmas Day, Sony announced Thursday. The action-comedy — recently condemned by Pyongyang for its plot about an attempt to kill the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un — was originally scheduled to open Oct. 10.
A plum Christmas release suggests the studio has high hopes for "The Interview," which tells the story of a popular tabloid TV show host (Franco) and his producer (Rogen) who score an interview with the reclusive dictator. As the two prepare to travel to Pyongyang, they're enlisted by the CIA to assassinate Kim.
Rogen co-directed the film with frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg, from a screenplay by Dan Sterling.
"The combination of Seth, Evan and James is pure comedic magic," said Rory Bruer, president of worldwide distribution for the studio, in a statement. He added, "We're thrilled to be making the move to Christmas — one of the most important moviegoing days of the year and the perfect date to show off their brand of comedy."
On its new date, "The Interview" is slated to open against a crowded field including the World War II drama "Unbroken," the Martin Luther King movie "Selma," the musical "Into the Woods," the family movie "Paddington," the Margaret Keane biopic "Big Eyes" and the comedy sequel "Hot Tub Time Machine 2."
Sony had originally planned to release Cameron Crowe's untitled next movie on Christmas, but recently pushed it to May 2015.
Word of "The Interview's" new release date will no doubt rankle the North Korean government, which complained about the movie to the U.N. in June and accused the United States of sponsoring terrorism and committing an act of war by allowing it to be made and released.
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