The fate of “The Interview” seems to change daily, with Sony Pictures announcing it’s still “surveying alternatives” regarding releasing the comedy “on a different platform” after an earlier announcement that it wouldn’t release the film in any format -- streaming, VOD or otherwise. That was Friday, and now there are a lot of indie theaters offering to screen the beleaguered film if Sony actually puts it out there.
Besides the Academy Theater in Portland, a group representing 250 indie theaters has pledged its support. In an open letter to Sony studio execs Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal, Art House Convergence, said its members would screen the film should Sony release it, reports Variety. The group also started an online petition at Change.org asking other indie theaters if they, too, will pledge to screen "The Interview."
“Circumstance has propelled ‘The Interview’ into a spotlight on values, both societal and artistic," the group’s director, Russ Collins, wrote. "[I]n honor of our support, we want to offer our help in a way that honors our long tradition of defending creative expression.”
Collins wrote that the group recognized there could be risks in screening "The Interview," given the Guardian of Peace's threat to launch 9/11-style attacks on any theater that played it. The Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy centers on an assassination attempt of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. But ultimately, Collins wrote, that should be the decision of the theater and the theatergoer, not "censors" such as Guardians of Peace.
"We understand there are risks involved in screening 'The Interview,'" wrote Collins. "We will communicate these risks as clearly as we can to our employees and customers and allow them to make their own decisions, as is the right of every American. Understanding those risks, the undersigned, independent cinema owners and operators of America under the banner of the Art House Convergence, do hereby agree to support Sony and to support theatrical engagements of 'The Interview' should Sony, at its sole discretion, decide to release it to theaters."
Even President Obama weighed in on Sony's decision to pull the planned release of "The Interview," calling it "a mistake."