Paramount pulls screenings of 'Team America: World Police,' theaters say

Theaters in Cleveland and Atlanta say Paramount has blocked screenings of 'Team America: World Police'

Paramount Pictures has put the kibosh on screenings of its 2004 North Korea-themed comedy "Team America: World Police," according to movie theaters in Cleveland and Atlanta.

David Huffman, director of marketing at Cleveland Cinemas, told The Times that Paramount contacted the theater chain and said "Team America" had been pulled from release. The Capitol Theatre had booked the film in October as part of a midnight screening series in June, Huffman said.

The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, meanwhile, said on its Twitter account, "Team America World Police pulled from all theatres as per Paramount Pictures."

Paramount did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The news comes in the wake of Sony Pictures canceling the planned Christmas Day release of its own North Korea comedy, "The Interview," after hackers threatened violence upon moviegoers.

In addition to the Capitol and Plaza theaters, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema's Dallas location, which had planned a screening of "Team America" to replace "The Interview," said on its Twitter account, "Due to to circumstances beyond our control, the TEAM AMERICA 12/27 screening has been cancelled. We apologize & will provide refunds today."

The brainchild of "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, "Team America" is a marionette-filled action satire that tells the story of an elite anti-terrorist squad called upon to foil a plot by Kim Jong Il, the North Korean dictator (now deceased) who is father to the nation's current leader, Kim Jong Un.

Kim Jong Un, of course, is at the center of "The Interview," which stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as a pair of bumbling TV journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate him.

Sony said in a statement Wednesday that it has no plans to release the controversial movie in the future, either in theaters or via home video on-demand.

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATES

12:03 p.m.: This story was updated with news about Paramount pulling "Team America: World Police" from release.

This story was originally posted at 9:51 a.m.

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