Sony Pictures has concrete plans to release The Interview in some form after it bowed to pressure from hackers late last week by cancelling its US-wide rollout that was scheduled for December 25.
The studio admits that it cancelled the release of the film as no theatres, video on demand [VOD] sites or ecommerce platforms were interested in distributing it and not due to hackers making threats against the firm.
“You can’t release a movie unless you have a distribution channel,” said Sony’s lead attorney David Boies, according to PC World. “The theatres were subject to threats of physical violence against the theatres and against their customers. And quite understandably, a large number of them, a majority of them, decided not to show the picture when it was scheduled. When that happened, Sony really had no alternative.”
The Interview stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as a pair of journalists that secure a chat with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which then turns into a CIA attempt to assassinate him.
A spokesperson for the studio stated that it is “considering options as far as distribution of the film” is concerned and BitTorrent is one such party that would be happy to step in and fill the void by using is peer-to-peer file sharing network.
“There have been calls for Sony to release the film online. And many have contacted us asking: Would they be able to release the movie using BitTorrent? Though we normally would not offer commentary during such a trying time for another company, the answer is yes,” read a statement from the site on Tech Crunch.
BitTorrent Bundle would allow Sony to publish the film and, by using the paygate option, the studio could set a price for the film and offer a wide distribution network safe from third party threats.
The decision by Sony Pictures to cancel the festive release of The Interview has been criticised by none other than President Barack Obama, who believes that bowing to North Korean pressure was the wrong move.
“We believe in free speech. We believe in the right of artistic expression and satire and things that powers that be might not like. And if we set a precedent in which a dictator in another country can disrupt, through cyber, you know, a company’s distribution chain or its products, and, as a consequence, we start censoring ourselves, that’s a problem,” Obama said.